Posted May 31, 2021 in Podcast
A Brooklyn Kid Who Bought Yankee Stadium and Created a Sports Empire
How can you recognize and utilize the untapped potential in your life?
Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in the same routine without unlocking your potential. Does that sound like you? Keep reading because my guest today has the answers for becoming extraordinary. Throughout his life, his creative view of the world drove him to create a sports collectibles empire.
Friends, I’m so excited to have Brandon Steiner on the Reaching Beyond podcast to share his adventures with you all. His energy is infectious! Brandon’s story is an inspiration to me, and I can’t wait for him to share it with you. In this episode, we cover a lot, including how to be a creative entrepreneur, what makes someone extraordinary, and insights into the sports collectibles market. Let’s get going!
Who is Brandon Steiner?
Brandon is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and overall creative genius from Brooklyn. He grew up in a single-parent home and attributed much of his success to his mother’s advice in his second book, You Gotta Have Balls: How a Kid from Brooklyn Started From Scratch, Bought Yankees Stadium and Created a Sports Empire.
When I first met Brandon through a mutual friend, he had already grown an incredibly successful business, Steiner Sports. During the late 80s, Brandon found a void in representation for athletes during speaking engagements and corporate appearances, which created a window to distribute sports collectibles.
Within a decade, Brandon represented most of the big-name athletes in New York and began to shift his focus predominantly toward memorabilia marketing. In 2004, he struck a deal with the Yankees to provide authentic memorabilia to fans.
Four years later, he purchased exclusive rights to disassemble the old Yankee Stadium and literally sold it to fans, brick-by-brick! Brandon recently created CollectibleXchange, a digital marketplace for collectible appraisal and distribution.
I love Brandon’s unique ability to create a market where there previously was none. His creative energy and passion for sports are unmatched and will inspire you to take a different view of how you approach life.
Starting From Scratch
Brandon’s background didn’t set him up for greatness from day one, but he acknowledges that struggling leads to success. His experiences through childhood and school pushed Brandon to fight for more than the hand dealt to him.
“Growing up poor, you can get angry because of what the other kids got. Or you can say, ‘I’m not accepting this.’ Remember, your circumstances are not fixed. Circumstances are incredibly variable.” – Brandon Steiner
By realizing circumstances didn’t define his future, Brandon saw himself pushing beyond mere success and becoming extraordinary. He believes that drive comes from desiring more than the status quo, which results in him rarely taking no for an answer.
“I have a very high level of non-acceptance… Some people say I’m a bad loser. I’m just never really that good with [accepting] the status quo.” – Brandon Steiner
If you feel like you cannot break away from your current path, take note of Brandon’s example and find a way to follow in his footsteps. The situation may be difficult at the moment, but there is always a way out!
Guys, it takes hard work, but Brandon believes you should work towards being extraordinary, not just successful. There are three things you should do to achieve this: balance yourself with others, put yourself in other’s shoes, and use common sense.
#1 Balance Yourself with Others. To keep himself in line, Brandon knows that he has to surround himself with various people. He stays balanced by offsetting his dream-filled creativity with people who remain grounded.
“You have to surround yourself with balance. Most people hire people that are similar to them[selves]. You cannot be afraid to hire the opposite. I married the opposite, [and] I tend to hire the opposite of me because I need people to keep me balanced. I know I’m not going to keep myself balanced.” – Brandon Steiner
When you are balanced, you open up the ability to think like someone else because you aren’t trying to control everything on your own.
#2 Put Yourself in Other’s Shoes. Everyone spends their day inside of their own heads. The only true way to understand another person is to find a way into their headspace. Understanding someone else’s point of view gives you the skill to find out what they truly want.
“If you can think about other people and put yourself in their shoes, you will see the problems. Then you can be a solution-based business person. You can find the things that people are needing by putting yourself in their mindset.” – Brandon Steiner
By allowing yourself to think like someone else, you gain the ability to connect with others on a deeper level. This connection opens up a world of possibilities previously undiscovered.
#3 Use Common Sense. Brandon believes his high level of common sense has helped him navigate his life. He says the key to applying common sense is by thinking like a kid:
“[Sometimes] you have to put yourself in a 10-year-old’s mindset. Even though I’m 60 now, I am not afraid to get into a 10-year-old’s mindset. If I have to, I’ll go hang out with some ten- or eleven-year-olds just to hear what these kids are thinking.” – Brandon Steiner
Applying these rules to your life may change the way you approach everything. Brandon found this to be true for himself; give it a try and see what happens!
Buying Yankees Stadium
In 2008, Brandon created an entirely new market of memorabilia beyond the usual signatures and trading cards. He did what many only dream of doing: Brandon purchased an MLB stadium.
Buying the old Yankees Stadium and controlling its disassembly gave him the ability to provide Yankees fans one of their deepest desires: an actual piece of Yankees history. This unprecedented move put pieces of the stadium in the hands of die-hard fans around the world.
“They worked it out, so I was able to buy back the old stadium. That included thousands of seats, the foul pole, the bricks, and the lockers. We [even] lifted the grass [and dirt] and freeze-dried it.” – Brandon Steiner
Players also helped Brandon create one-of-a-kind collectibles from pieces of the stadium which sold for impressive amounts of money. One particular story Brandon has about Reggie Jackson asking for some black concrete from the outfield wall.
“[I thought] it’s just concrete painted black, but it was ‘the’ black. [Jackson said], I want you to pull that out. I’m going to sign that with a nice white Sharpie, and we’ll put that in a case. We settled on a case with a ball, [and] he made a few hundred grand on that.” – Brandon Steiner
Brandon’s adventure with the old Yankees Stadium opened up the market to purchase other retired major-league sports stadiums beyond baseball. A couple of noteworthy mentions include Madison Square Garden and Giant’s Stadium.
Your adventure may not be as large as purchasing an entire baseball stadium to make a fortune. However, taking steps outside of your comfort zone motivates you to find things you genuinely want to achieve.
Creating a Sports Empire
As Brandon’s empire continued to grow, he decided to tackle the digital realm of collectibles with his new online market, CollectibleXchange. Brandon thinks the industry will grow as the older generation decides what to do with their collections, and he wants to provide a streamlined way to distribute to others.
Creating CollectibleXchange has given Brandon the ability to see incredible things come through his business:
“I’ve really grown an appreciation for the fact that I figured out a market [for collectibles], but there are some cool people out there doing imaginative things [with their collections]. I’m getting the same kind of self-satisfaction of playing on other people’s ideas, [rather than my own]. So that’s been a breath of fresh air for me.” – Brandon Steiner
I’m sure Brandon’s online marketplace is just the beginning of the future he is molding for sports memorabilia. His passion for collectibles and the desire to put them in the hands of die-hard fans who want them is an incredibly unique story to witness.
Why You Should Listen to this Podcast Episode with Brandon Steiner Right Now…
Guys, this interview with Brandon Steiner is incredible — especially for those wanting to find ways to change their current work-life rhythm. There is so much information to help you build something new or improve your current plans.
Before I leave, I wanted to share something Brandon told me that stuck with me. I asked him what the topic would be if he had to give a TED talk on something he wasn’t known for. This was his answer:
“I would probably give a TED talk about how to parent. [It’s] not because I was that great. I’m still a work in progress, but it’s the hardest job on the planet. What I’ve done is gone around the world and taken in every bit of information about parenting [that I can].” – Brandon Steiner
As a father myself, I was eager to hear what he had to say. After telling a great story about one of his kids who needed a ride to school, he left me with a significant bit of information.
“The best thing you can do is let [them] figure out some stuff and let them get involved with the decision-making [process]. I let my kids make as many decisions as I could because after they make them, they get to realize the repercussions [good or bad].” – Brandon Steiner
Brandon truly shows what is possible when you put your mind toward something. If you are interested in getting in touch with him, check out his LinkedIn page. Also, if you are interested in his collectibles market, you can go to the CollectibleXchange here!
If you found value from this episode, it would mean a lot to me if you took a few seconds to write a five-star review and share it with some of your friends on Apple Podcasts. I’d be so grateful! I’d also love it if you tagged me, @kyle_depiesse, on Instagram with your most noteworthy takeaways from the episode!
Cheers to your success! I’m rooting for you.