Udoka “Dee” Nwosu is already doing what many prospective law students dream of – owning his own business. Dee is Founder and CEO of Deuces Wild Sports and Entertainment, LLC, a firm that recruits, markets, and represents sports and entertainment talent. In 2015, Dee expanded the company to include sports representation, opened an office in Las Vegas to supplement its Fort Lauderdale operations, and successfully shepherded a client to signing with Canada’s National Basketball League.
Dee chose NSU because of its solid academic program, reputation for training practice-ready lawyers, part-time program, and ideal South Florida location. “I grew up in Massachusetts and don’t want to deal with snow anymore,” Dee says. Having earned a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from the University of Massachusetts, Dee worked as a paralegal in law firms for three years before starting law school and continued working while attending classes as a part-time evening student.
After his first semester at NSU Law, Dee found a new job working for a lawyer who also owned a sports management company. He was hired as the Director of Operations for Wolf Sports Management where he did client recruitment and marketing with a focus on basketball. He was soon promoted to Vice President. During his time at Wolf, Dee began his own small entertainment company, Deuces Wild, focusing on representation of actors, actresses, models, and musicians. In April 2015, he left Wolf Sports Management and decided to go on his own, bringing in his brother G.K. Nwosu, a PhD graduate from University of Nevada Las Vegas, and expanding Deuces Wild to include sports representation as well. To this day, Dee credits a great deal of his success to his time at Wolf Sports Management. “Jason Wolf gave me a tremendous opportunity”, Dee says. “We’re still in touch to this day. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now without the support from Jason Wolf and everyone at Koch, Parafinczuk & Wolf.”
He has devoted himself to networking during his joint J.D./M.B.A. studies at NSU. “Study is important, but it’s only part of success. You really need to find the balance” he advises. “While the saying is ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, don’t let who you know be the only thing you know”. Dee cites NSU Law’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS) as an important networking opportunity. “I attended a SELS and Nova Law Review symposium on sports and entertainment law and it was an amazing opportunity to delve into this industry and meet important people,” he reflects. He also uses networking opportunities provided by NSU’s Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
A self-described “marketing guy,” Dee stresses the important of “pressing the flesh” and speaking face-to-face with as many people as possible. “In this business, things don’t just land in your lap. You have to work hard for them,” Dee stresses. Every July, Dee is in Las Vegas at the international basketball tournaments handing out business cards and introducing himself to everyone with his tablet in hand, ready to provide any interested coach or scout with film of his clients. “You cannot do this work by text or online,” he warns anyone considering a career in sports and entertainment, “you have to personally interact with everyone.”
“It’s important to believe in yourself and never get discouraged. When I first started this company, I had a friend tell me that no one was going to take me seriously. It was shocking to say the least, but I’ve used it as motivation. I still have the print out of that conversation saved somewhere”.
In October 2015, Dee completed his first sports deal for Deuces Wild by signing a client with the Windsor Express of Canada’s National Basketball League. “It was a full-service deal for him,” Dee says with pride. “He’s a client I recruited, then I marketed him, and then I negotiated the deal he signed with the NBL.” While he already had experience with recruiting and marketing, Dee had to take this deal to completion. Studying Contracts with Prof. Ishaq Kundawala gave him the ability to craft the deal. His course in Interviewing, Negotiation, and Counseling with Prof. Pearl Goldman gave him the distinct edge he needed to negotiate the deal. “I have an understanding of the law that those on the other side don’t always have. As a result, I was able to get my client what he wanted and that’s what it’s all about in this business.”
Dee is quick to point out that the deals and the business of sports are far more complex than most people believe. “Most people don’t see the front office side of sports where the deals and negotiations get done,” he says. “I’m proud and excited that deals like this are now getting done.This didn’t come easy, so it’s a blessing to see these things fall in place.” Dee admits that a law degree is not required in this business but sees a J.D. as an advantage for him. Having a J.D. and an M.B.A. will allow him to do all the work for his clients, providing added value for them, and earning him an additional level of respect. He has recently signed a coaching client who he is marketing to NCAA Division 1 basketball programs.
After completing his J.D. in December 2015, Dee will sit for the Florida Bar, seek admission to the Nevada Bar, complete his remaining M.B.A. courses, and continue to grow Deuces Wild.