The Power of Social Media as a Networking Tool…aka How My Hero Became My Client

This week marked the return of my Social Media Lawyer column to CIC Midwest News.  With my firm switch to Lommen Abdo happening about the time that articles were being submitted for the Spring 2012 issue, I was sidelined until the Summer 2012 issue, but I can’t think of a better way to mark my return than the true story of how I met my all-time hero, former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer, through Facebook and how he became a client of mine. 

The article does a pretty fair job of summarizing the relevant events of how it all played out, but it was written a few months ago…before “TK” came to town to celebrate the joint birthday of me and my colleague, Greg Perleberg (yes, we share the same birthday and the same hero)…and before I could legitimately call myself a practitioner of “sports law.”  In fact, I attribute the launch of the sports law portion of my practice to that connection to Tommy.  Why?  Within a few weeks of our first conversations, I was introduced to another Minnesota Vikings great, Hall of Famer Carl Eller, the legendary member of the “Purple People Eaters” defense.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with Carl on his nonprofit Retired Players Association and other projects related to Carl’s efforts to help normalize NFL players so that they can better function in retirement for several months now. 

A few months after that introduction, we had the opportunity to meet another Vikings legend, Joe Kapp.  Joe was the Vikings’ quarterback in their 1st Super Bowl during the 1969 season and his “40 for 60” mantra became a rallying cry for that team.  When Joe heard what we do with Tommy and Carl, he responded “can you do that for me?”, and just like that, we have a sports law practice (of course, Lommen has had a sports law practice for many years). 

These guys are some of the nicest, most humble human beings you’ll ever meet and it is an honor to call them clients, and my relationships with them all stemmed from a Facebook fan club honoring my hero. 

Even now I have a hard time believing it all.

(Notes on the photos (top to bottom): (1) ceramic Tommy Kramer statue handpainted by my grandmother as a Christmas present in 1982; (2) me, age 7 1/2, sporting my #9 Tommy Kramer jersey in my parents’ backyard; (3) me and Tommy, December 2011, hanging out before the Vikings game vs. the Saints; and (4) me and my best bud, Buster Brown, celebrating his “9th” birthday this spring (get it?))

2 Comments on “The Power of Social Media as a Networking Tool…aka How My Hero Became My Client

  1. Good blog & article. I truly believe in social media as a networking tool. Has benefited many people & will continue to do so.