Meech Golden has navigated his way up the talent management ladder, and now performs with a developing steady of wrestles to make his possess corporation. Soon after performing with Michael Strahan’s SMAC (Sporting activities, Media and Society), Golden still left the agency in 2021 to launch Good Gold Agency. An accomplished expertise supervisor in the space, Golden has labored with LeBron James’ Spring Hill Company, ESPN and he even garnered an Emmy nomination for his work on The Charge of Profitable.
“Good Gold was birthed through stress and deciding upon one’s route to pave a new way and make room for neighborhood,” reads the company web site.
“Our major aim is telling cultural stories thoughtfully and meaningfully in an ground breaking way by creating a system for new storytellers to have their voices uplifted and heard.”
Golden’s passion for professional wrestling helped form his enterprise, with quite a few purchasers this sort of as The Bella Twins, Saraya, Rene Paquette and Bryan Danielson, coming from the wrestling earth. And as WWE and AEW continue on to scratch and claw their way towards mainstream prominence, significant-profile sponsorship promotions for wrestlers will be a pivotal.
Golden sat down for an unique job interview with Forbes about his journey, how models look at pro wrestling and the several possibilities to pair wrestlers with worthwhile sponsorships.
ALFRED KONUWA: Let’s commence by chatting about how you manufactured the transition from functioning in talent administration to founding your own talent administration firm.
MEECH GOLDEN: It’s actually fascinating, expanding up a wrestling admirer throughout the Mindset Era. I was a Massive Shawn Michaels lover, Stone Cold, The Rock. That stuff was terrific. That was a fantastic era. I moved to New York in 2010 to originally to get into artist administration. I worked my way close to and found myself working for a enterprise identified as SMAC Enjoyment. SMAC Leisure is a talent administration creation organization owned by Constance Schwartz-Morini and Michael Strahan. And it was there where by I seriously produced and honed in on my competencies as both a manager and then eventually a producer.
We labored with a selection of distinct abilities more than there. I was Deion Sanders’ day-to-working day supervisor for four-and-a-50 percent decades. I worked with the actor Omari Hardwick and for about a year or so, I experienced the pleasure of performing with the Bellas who we managed.
In September 2021, I determined to leave SMAC and go off and do my have factor which has turned into Very good Gold Agency. Through my connection with Brie and Nikki, I was in a position to connection up with Bryan Danielson. He was in the center of figuring out what was gonna be future for him. Ultimately, he ended up heading with AEW, and it was funny for the reason that I experienced the initial conversation with Brie about it. I was like ‘we’d really like the option and I think I could do a lot of wonderful issues with him outside the ring.’
Then he debuts on like September 5th. Thoughts you, my past working day was the 3rd. He arrives out and debuts. So I am in a vehicle with a buddy and I’m likely in New York someplace, and I get the textual content and they’re like Bryan Danielson debuts. And I am crushed, due to the fact I am thinking that goes my opportunity. I’m possibly going to get that any longer. But that Monday, I was on the phone with him and then the future week we were being rocking and rolling. I was there with him at the big clearly show at Arthur Ashe Stadium. That led to in the long run receiving released by Brie yet again to Saraya. And then Saraya in the long run released me to Renee Paquette.
AK: How did you cultivate your partnership with the Bellas to exactly where they were capable to trust you sufficient to introduce you to some of these other significant-profile wrestling purchasers?
MG: That’s a terrific query. I imagine first and foremost, guide with honesty. I check with queries, since I want to get to know you as my customer. At the close of the working day, you employed me, you brought me on board. So it’s my position to be of services to you and your plans and the items that you want, and then suggest you in parts in which strategically, we will need to be creating these conclusions to put us in this position, which is eventually the aims that you established forth.
We you should not have to be very best good friends, but I do know what is actually likely on with you on the everyday, so that I can know if you might be producing a decision centered on your feelings and not necessarily dependent on what’s the very best system of action for you in a particular circumstance. So with the Bellas, in individual, were being at a quite intricate point in their occupations and in navigating that house.
AK: Communicate about some of your strategies and ideas that you have experienced in terms of representation, which I know is component of the mission statement of Fantastic Gold Company.
MG: It’s amusing, for the reason that I can most likely count on my hand the sum of African-American wrestlers that I recall increasing up. I went by an era wherever I desired to go to wrestling college. I consider I required to give this a shot. It was pretty much a imagined in my head.
I was transitioning out of soccer. I was like, hey, what if I do this? And to be hunting around, in particular like the AEW landscape and see so many African Us residents, like acquiring Television time, finding these possibilities. I believe it truly is unbelievable.
A person like Ricky Starks, who is just almost certainly scratching the surface of what he can and will in the long run develop into. Lee Moriarty and there is so numerous other guys that I get to converse to backstage, I am, I’m so pleased for them all. And even like Sonny Kiss person, like, like, are you kidding me? Like the way in which we are receiving alternatives now it is just almost nothing short of unbelievable.
The most significant point that I want to emphasis on this year is now exhibiting brand names, and particularly firms outdoors of the rest of the market, just how important these superstars are to their fans and how loyal these supporter bases are. And to demonstrate them that it will in fact translate considerably additional than employing this soccer participant, or this basketball player, or this baseball player. But when they acquire individuals jerseys off, no one cares.
AK: What are some examples of approaches you have experienced to pair your purchasers with selected brand names?
MG: So, for occasion, with Bryan, you know, a whole lot of the get the job done that I do with Bryan is in the environmental place. And so, you know, for me, that was a reasonably newer area. I arrive from a qualifications of functioning with the even bigger PepsiCo’s
With an individual like Saraya naturally, there is certainly cosmetics you will find fragrances. The similar way that you happen to be utilizing a Girl Gaga or Natalie Portman in individuals adverts, you could be utilizing a Saraya and legitimately be crossing in excess of because of course she experienced the movie, Preventing with My Family, which gave her some big crossover appeal in my individual feeling.
But then you might be talking about any individual which is gonna actively activate 6.1 million people today on Instagram. No disrespect to any of the other actresses and actresses that I named or that I did not name, but I can assure you that they won’t be able to activate their audiences in the way that these wrestlers can.
AK: You said one thing very intriguing that I wholly join with in terms of a lot of these makes not being familiar with wrestling. You can find a great deal of misinformation about what wrestlers are. Individuals are continually surprised by their massive followings. What do you come across is the most steady issues that makes get completely wrong about pro wrestling?
MG: Possibly the amount one particular point that most of the people today say, “it’s phony.” I’m like, define “fake” for me. And I know that when I have that dialogue with people, I have a tendency to get a small bit feisty about it. Mainly because no make any difference which enterprise you are wanting at, if you look at WWE, they go, what, more than 200 times a year? I am speaking about banging, you know what I necessarily mean? Jumping off of ladders and finding hit with steel chairs and doing at the greatest attainable level, night time in and evening out.
Men in the NFL never do that. They have 17 months that they have to complete. 17 months, correct? So think about the grit and grind of their activity, moments 240, the impact that that has on your entire body, correct? The time remaining absent from your relatives. It is very little small of amazing what these people today are able to do. Some far more of the the indie-design wrestling can be a minor little bit more technological, but it also can be a very little little bit a lot more superior-traveling and acrobatic in a whole lot of techniques. To call that bogus is like the major slap in the face.
I think that is the component that brands really do not understand. There is an element of it that is scripted. At the identical time, enthusiasts are still obtaining into it. Why is that? Imagine about that. As followers, we you should not know which way a match is gonna swing. We frequently hope, like again when Bryan Danielson was there and lovers basically took more than. They were being like, ‘nope, he is our male.’
This is a multi-billion-greenback organization, and the individuals have spoken and claimed ‘no. Whomever you place in entrance, if it is really not this person, we’re not going to acknowledge it. It is not gonna function.’ You have acquired to change your internet marketing resources, you’ve acquired to alter your storyline, be imaginative. It truly is just crazy. So I assume that is almost certainly the greatest thing for me, is to eradicate the sort of phony POV that folks have and aiding them fully grasp just how true it truly is and why it really is vital.
AK: I have always felt that the scripted character of pro wrestling is really what can make it endearing, much like the critically acclaimed extraordinary Television displays we see on HBO. At the similar time, for the sake of promotion and partnerships, you variety of have to pitch it like a sport.
MG: Absolutely. And I believe that which is the other factor, correct? I will not know that makes always search at it like a products. There’re some circles that you can expect to converse to exactly where the NFL, the groups. They are seemed at as goods. You are a product or service of this town, and this workforce and this franchise. And I don’t consider that automatically, like the Wrestling method is generally looked at like that except if, there’s a massive crossover charm.
You will find particular fellas that have just surpassed all levels of expectation for what a athletics entertainer meant to appear like. Dwayne Johnson obviously, but even a person like the Undertaker. For as significant and as legendary and legendary as the Undertaker is, there are selected rooms that he’ll wander into and people will truly not know who he is.
I will not recognize that. I will not recognize why he was not positioned in a way the place he was doing the basic commercials with Shaq. Or he was not obtaining the Tv set chance. And possibly he did not want them. Allow me not discuss on behalf of him or his illustration or anything. Maybe people are not factors that he needed. But I know that these things would absolutely be there for him.
I would adore to see men to get their second. Like a male like MJF, right? You look at MJF, he is a star. He gets it on each individual single stage. He will get the intellect of professional wrestling. He will get the business of qualified wrestling. He receives the organization exterior of specialist wrestling. He understands his positioning in the earth outside the house of skilled wrestling. And he is executing and he’s building all of the moves and shout out to his crew because they are placing him in situations wherever he’s equipped to truly capitalize on this character that he’s built. And we will see in which that finally usually takes him in the long run. And I hope that additional fellas get those types of opportunities and help to carry on to change that narrative.
If you see a Drake concert, and you fill that specific identical stadium with followers of specialist wrestling. And I assure that the supporters of professional wrestling are screaming “Judas” louder for Jericho than they are screaming, beginning from the bottom for Drake.
AK: Do you see any voids or prospects in the material generation room that possibly wrestling ought to acquire much more gain of?
MG: I think Renee Paquette is a trailblazer, initial and foremost, but she’s so innovative and it is really not just restricted to wrestling. Opportunities, like late night speak reveals and stuff like that. Why cannot Renee be like a Chelsea Handler or Samantha Bee?
Why won’t be able to she have those options and cater to this specialized niche audience? And deliver them in by means of some much more well-known pop society like topics and present people just how very similar and how regular and regular wrestlers are. I have heard Bryan say this in an interview when that you had to be a very little little bit strange to be a wrestler. But bizarre is great. No one needs to fit into these bubbles and these bins in all places they go. And so if this matter is unusual and cool, then it need to have its possess possibility that convey to its very own stories.