From the Field to the Sidelines

Two Elon football alumni have turned their love for the game into successful sports business careers.

Jordan Thompson ’14 L’17 and Karl Bostick ’15

During their time at Elon, Jordan Thompson ’14 L’17 and Karl Bostick ’15 were football teammates, fraternity brothers and close friends. Now, they utilize their passion for football and synergize their legal and marketing prowess to help up-and-coming athletes elevate their careers. Both alumni work for Element Sports Group, an NFL agency that provides athletes with everything from legal counsel for contracts to marketing experts for public relations, outreach and branding. The agency represents more than 100 clients across multiple divisions — from media talent and TV personalities to coaches and professional and collegiate football players, including Pro Bowlers, Heisman Trophy winners and top draft selections.  Because Element is a full-service agency, Thompson, an agent and legal counsel, and Bostick, director of branding and partnerships, collaborate daily to provide the best service to their clients.

After graduating from Elon, Thompson, a political science major, was accepted into Elon’s School of Law but deferred his enrollment to pursue his dream career working with an NFL staff. One month later, the Detroit Lions offered him a position. “Ironically, for someone who had just deferred law school, the president and the general manager at the time were both attorneys,” Thompson says.

Thompson interned at Element Sports Group after his first year of law school. After his second year, he worked in the salary cap department of the Washington Football Team, and then at Wall Street’s oldest BigLaw law firm representing all 32 NFL teams, where he gained invaluable negotiation and legal experience. Upon graduating, Thompson continued in the law firm’s sports law and global litigation groups, before landing back at Element years later.

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Bostick, a business marketing major, broke his leg right before his senior season started. “At that point I really had to do some soul searching in understanding who I was as a person now that football was being taken away from me,” he says. Bostick gravitated toward sports marketing because it allowed him to still be part of the team. “Being able to go to the facilities and connect with my teammates and talk about ideas to promote the team gave me a sense of pride,” Bostick says. He developed a love for storytelling from the athlete’s perspective, which landed him a job at NASCAR working on brand partnerships. He expanded his repertoire working for Bleacher Report, where he developed integrated marketing campaigns for multiple Fortune 500 brands.  He continued to build his perspective on athlete marketing through experiences at Roc Nation Sports before joining Element Sports Group.

After a few years apart building their respective careers, Thompson and Bostick reconnected to talk about their futures and career goals. “We felt like it was the right time in our respective journeys to see if there was a way we could work together, leveraging his experience on the representation side and what I do from a brand-building perspective,” Bostick says. When a brand partnerships position opened up at Element, Thompson immediately thought of his former teammate. “I knew Karl was super talented and I was calling him every day to get him here,” Thompson says. “He’s one of my closest friends, fraternity brother and former teammate, so I already knew we would work well together.”

Matt Zobel, director of client marketing at Element, helps Bostick manage marketing and branding endeavors and praises the attention his colleagues have garnered in the competitive, niche industry of athlete representation. “Both these guys hit the ground running when they got out of school,” Zobel says. “They are definitely two of the most respected people in our business. It is an honor to work with both of them in the same office.”