Country: Estonia

Profession: Agent

Hans is an athlete representative at Global Throwing Management, which was established in 2013 and exclusively represents throwers, including World Champion Daniel Stahl and World Championship silver medallist Fedrick Dacres. The agency also organises international throwing conferences such as the European Discus Throw Conference and the European Shot-Put Conference.

You are a road construction engineer by profession, what motivated the move to athlete representation?
I have been in the sports all my life. I started as a 14-year-old school boy working in the team of Estonian Olympic Champion Gerd Kanter. I was good at media relations, webpage and statistics and I got some valuable international experience in these areas. Becoming an engineer was a way to develop myself in sciences. During my studies, I kept working in the sports industry and had productive cooperation with one of the best throwing coaches in the world, Vésteinn Hafsteinsson. So, to sum up – it took me many years and a lot of small steps to become an athlete representative.

Take us through your first negotiation as an agent — how did it go, any learnings from that you took from it and still apply to this day?
Went into the room heavily stressed, started off with an inappropriate joke, was embarrassed, talked for 10 minutes without taking a breath, got the deal, and left. Summary – did everything wrong and was extremely lucky. Got a good life lesson and experience!

In your opinion, what are two necessary skills to be an agent and why?
As I have the strongest discus throw team in the world, I like the following saying – take that disc, smile and just be happy. Make that moment great. Same applies to being an agent – enjoy the process and be happy. That brings for sure better results. The second skill is to be ready for everything. Life is not fair and the earlier you accept it, the better. 2020 was a crazy year and all the time things changed. Those who were successful during this time were the ones ready to adapt and continually create new solutions and ideas. That is the core essence of being an agent.

What has been a career highlight so far?
When I started my agency I had a vision to create the world’s strongest discus team. At Doha 2019 men discus final my athletes Daniel Stahl won the gold and Fedrick Dacres the silver. For sure this is the highlight at the moment.

What do you find most challenging as an agent?

Every performance gives me a lot of emotions. Sometimes too much. For example, if some of my athletes underperform in a competition, then I feel like I myself have been the one on the field feeling all the disappointment.  I have 20 athletes, and during a summer season, the emotional rollercoaster is exhausting. But I am happy about this as I truly enjoy being part of an athlete’s life and going through the process together.

What two changes would you like to see happen in order to move throwing events forward?
Track & Field overall needs more popularity and a better image. From my perspective, the event has stood still for many years. One of the solutions I see is a centralised T&F online TV with innovative viewing solutions (for example people can choose what event to follow on a meet, build up your viewing plan etc). This would be a subscription-based community with all the big and small competitions in one place. This works extremely well with Tennis, Nordic Skiing, Strongman etc. and would help to build a strong fan base and promote everything around our event. Our current situation is a mess of TV rights and for every event there are different solutions/restrictions for different countries. This results in only the hard-core enthusiasts watching it online and the wider audience is left out.

Secondly, I see that throwing events, and discus throwing especially, have been caught in the strong winds of sports politics for many years – for example the “3 attempt” format at Diamond League meets a few years ago, exclusion from the 2020 DL calendar, 6th attempt sudden death solution, less events on A category meets, and minimum coverage on TV have all affected the sport. So, I feel that throwing events need clearer fair play rules and for sure this would make them more popular.

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