ABOUT ABEL SPORTS MANAGEMENT
Abel Sports Management is a full-service boutique sports agency that provides a bespoke approach to it’s clients building on the unique combined background of its founders, Brent Johnson and Chad Watkins. Brent Johnson is a 12 year NHL veteran, his father played in the NHL, and his grandfather Sid Abel, the namesake of ASM, is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Brent has quite literally been involved in the business of professional hockey since the day he was born. Chad Watkins is an attorney and entrepreneur that has started or been involved in numerous successful companies in both the sports and medical worlds and has been mentored in the world of Sports Management by some of the most successful and established individuals in the industry. ASM is committed to establishing personal, trustworthy relationships with all of our clients and their families and focuses on developing players individually by encouraging confidence, integrity, and promoting realistic goals and opportunities. At ASM, we are prepared to address all aspects of our athletes’ endeavors including both personal issues and business relations. We are not confined to any predetermined set of services but will rather provide a bespoke approach to fill any and all of our client’s needs.
Brent Johnson

Brent Johnson
Principal
Brent Johnson played professional hockey for 15 years, including 12 years in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes, Washington Capitals, and Pittsburgh Penguins. His hockey blood lines run deep as he is the son of former NHL goaltender, Robert Johnson, and the grandson of NHL hall of fame player, coach, and GM, Sid Abel. Brent has literally lived in the world of professional hockey since the day he was born and the passion for the sport has never diminished.Brent has truly seen everything, both good and bad in the business of hockey, and uses this experience to advise ASM clients in a way to help maximize their full potential.

In addition to his role with ASM, Brent provides on ice goalie training, and can be seen on Comcast Sports Network during Washington Capitals games.

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Chad Watkins
Principal
Chad Watkins has over 10 years of experience drafting, editing, and negotiating contracts throughout the Sports, IT, and medical industries. Chad has been a part of several successful startups in these different industries which has provided him with a broad skill set and experience in areas such as marketing, sales, brand management, legal, and accounting. Chad attended Virginia Tech where he majored in Finance and International Business, he then attended George Mason University Law School while also serving as a Director for a small pharmaceutical company in Northern Virginia. At George Mason Chad focused his studies on the areas of law that are most applicable in the sports world such as contracts, negotiations, antitrust and labor law. Chad has played Ice Hockey since he was 6 years old and while he never made it to the level of his clients, he possesses a strong knowledge of the game that allows him to responsibly and accurately interact with team management and scouting departments.

Chad lives in Ashburn VA with his wife Dana, three children Brody, Dylan, and Mackenzie, and their dog Rio.

perry johnson

Perry Johnson
Director of European Operations
An Edmonton Alberta native, Perry played his junior hockey in the WHL for the Regina Pats and the Spokane Chiefs. Coached by Mike Babcock, Perry won a Memorial Cup in his last year of juniors with Spokane. After juniors he played two seasons with the Canadian National team, and then went on to play two years of professional hockey in Europe before returning home to the University of Edmonton where they won two CIS National championships. After university Perry played 5 more seasons professionally throughout Europe, including stops in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, and England.

Perry's experience with Hockey Canada as well as his professional career through various European leagues have left him with a global network of hockey professionals that are an invaluable asset to ASM clients. His network coupled with his fluency in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and French allow him to assist European players looking to play in North America as well as the North American players looking to make the jump to the European leagues. Residing in Copenhagen Perry is also integral in the brand development and marketing of ASM clients throughout Europe.

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Leah Dyck
Director of Marketing & PR
Leah Dyck is a digital media strategist with experience in social media management and consulting for businesses and professionals in a number of different industries ranging from nonprofit to motivational speaking to sporting goods. She’s also a hockey Writer currently writing for The Hockey Writers covering OHL and NHL prospects. Leah is based out of Ontario, Canada and has grown up playing the game. She holds a Diploma in Advertising, as well as two post-graduate certificates; one in Social Media and the other in Fundraising Resource & Development. Today, she’s a hockey Coach for her seven-year-old daughter’s pond hockey team, working along side her dad.

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ASM SERVICES
Contract Negotiations –
ASM co-founder and president Chad Watkins has a great deal of experience in negotiating contracts anywhere from $50,000.00 to multi-million dollar deals. Regardless of the size of the deal one thing that always remains constant in these negotiations is the type of approach employed. ASM strongly believes in bringing a problem solving approach to all negotiations and feels that the most successful deals occur when both sides are truly able to understand and respect the other side’s position and needs. This is not to say that a hard nose adversarial approach does not have its place in contract negotiations, but it is ASM’s policy to only use this tactic as a last resort. This type of approach ensures that ASM’s clients stay in the game and provides a stability that they can always count on.
Financial planning –
ASM does not directly handle any clients financial planning or investment needs but rather maintains strong relationships with leaders in these fields. These relationships ensure that ASM clients can be comfortable with who is handling their finances, and know that their best interests are always being put first. ASM will always promote more than one option to its clients as each client is going to have different investment ideas and risk tolerances. ASM only works with the most trustworthy and experienced investment advisors.
Legal Advisement –
ASM has a strong legal foundation and is well-positioned to advise our clients on any variety of legal matters or compliance issues that may present themselves. We also maintain relationships with attorneys who specialize in other fields and can serve as outside counsel should the necessity arise. ASM’s legal foundation as well as our outside relationships with in the legal arena are not only valuable in terms of the contractual fluency and the competence required to proficiently negotiate contracts for our clients, but also to guide and advise our clients through the infinite amount of legal complexities that are often associated with the lifestyle of a professional athlete.
Personal Brand Development–
An athlete’s online brand is the foundation to a strong web presence and it reflects their professional brand identity and their brand values. Using social media marketing, ASM creates, restores and reinvents their clients’ online brand identity, ensuring visual and verbal consistency every step of the way. Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Leah Dyck embarks athlete identity development with an out-of-the box approach, beginning from conceptualization through to implementation and helps athletes connect and engage their online audience. At ASM, clients are given a unique place and voice in the social sphere, online audience research and insight, brand strategy and positioning, strategic messaging, content-driven brand storytelling, global campaigns, blogger outreach and social media management.
Family Advising –
The myriad of options an amateur hockey player has, and the different paths they can take can often be both intimidating and confusing for athletes and their families. ASM will remove this uncertainty by helping identify the most realistic goals for an athlete and then guiding him in the best possible way to make them become a reality.