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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Ron Shapiro discusses his career as one of the most powerful agent-attorneys in America for baseball.

A conversation with Ron Shapiro

Posted on: November 3, 2017
By: Allen Wallace,, 803-777-5667

Known as one of the most powerful people in sports and one of baseball’s most respected agent-attorneys, Ron Shapiro presented at University of South Carolina on November 1, 2017. The free event was part of the Thomas H. Regan Executive Sport Seminar presented by UofSC’s Department of Sport and Entertainment Management and sponsored by NASCAR. Shapiro spoke to the packed auditorium about the state of the industry today and shared stories from his 40+ years in the industry. He also answered question from a student-faculty panel, including Professor Susan O’Malley who is a former professional sport franchise president, as well as audience questions. The event provided attendees with a rare opportunity to get first-hand insights from one of the most experienced and accomplished industry leaders. After his presentation, Professor Tom Regan and the panel presented Shapiro with an award designed by a local artist.
About Ron Shapiro

Expert negotiator, sports agent, attorney, educator, New York Times Bestselling Author, and civic leader, Ron Shapiro attended Haverford College and graduated Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1967. After moving to Baltimore in 1967 for a federal clerkship, he began teaching law school in 1968. From 1972 to 1974, Mr. Shapiro served as Maryland State Securities Commissioner and earned a reputation as one of the most effective state investment officials in the nation. In 1972, he founded what is now known as Shapiro Sher, a prominent Baltimore law firm. Subsequently, in 1976, Mr. Shapiro founded Shapiro, Robinson & Associates, a sports management firm that developed a national reputation through its holistic approach to contract negotiation, sound financial management, and commitment to community involvement on the part of its clients. In 1995, he founded Shapiro Negotiations Institute, a sales, negotiation and influence training firm that has trained professionals in the art of negotiation, dealing with difficult personalities, and enhancing preparation and listening skills. Currently, he is chairman and founder of Shapiro Advisors, a negotiation deal coaching and consulting company. In addition, he is the founder and creator of an annual business conference, the Butler Conference of Leaders, which brings together CEOs and other business, professional, and non-profit leaders to address economic, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, and social issues.

USA TODAY called Shapiro “one of baseball’s most respected agent-attorneys,” and the Sporting News named him one of the “100 most powerful people in sports.” His impressive list of clients includes more Hall of Famers than any other agent, including Cal Ripken, Jr., Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Murray, and 2009 AL MVP, Joe Mauer, who have collectively benefited from the more than one billion dollars in contracts that Shapiro has negotiated on their behalf. In addition, Shapiro is the special advisor to the owner of the NFL Baltimore Ravens and to the General Managers of the NBA San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Shapiro’s book, The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins – Especially You!, was excerpted in Fortune Magazine and named one of the “Top Ten ‘On the Job’ Business Books of the Year” by the Library Journal. A revised edition was released in February 2015. His second book, Bullies, Tyrants & Impossible People: How to Beat Them Without Joining Them, made the Wall Street Journal’s Best Seller List. His third book, Dare to Prepare: How to Win Before You Begin, made the New York Times, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal’s Best Seller Lists, was named the winner in two categories in the National Best Books 2008 Awards by USA Book News, and was named Gold medal winner of the Success & Motivation category of the 2009 Axiom Business Book Awards. Mr. Shapiro’s fourth book, Perfecting Your Pitch: How to Succeed tn Business and in Life by Finding Words That Work, was released in November 2013.

Shapiro has also authored more than 20 law journal articles, co-authored books on corporate and securities law, founded Maryland’s major bar review course, and began a legal publishing company. He taught at the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland School of Law, and the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he was honored for teaching excellence.

A charismatic and creative individual, Shapiro appeared as a negotiations expert on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” Mutual Radio’s “The Larry King Show,” National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” and “Talk of the Nation,” ABC’s “Nightline,” and ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” and “Up Close.” Mr. Shapiro hosted a weekly talk show, “Front Page,” and “Special Edition,” a series of prime time specials, both on NBC Baltimore affiliates. In addition, he appeared as a panelist on “Square Off” on CBS’s Baltimore affiliate.
Committed to public and civic matters, Shapiro has chaired more than 25 boards of charitable and community organizations, including PeacePlayers International, the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the Baltimore Jewish Community Relations Council, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, Partnership for Homecoming Campaign, the University of Maryland Cancer Center Advisory Board, Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust, and the Baltimore City Firehouse Renovation Project. He was also Treasurer and Finance Chairman for former Baltimore Mayor, Kurt Schmoke.

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