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A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS II:
SCOOTER BRAUN

The latest excerpt from our profiles of industry ballers features an actual baller, Scooter Braun, who played AAU ball with the Connecticut Flame and Division 3 hoops at Atlanta’s Emory University.

Scooter Braun wears a lot of hats, both literally and figuratively—make that entrepreneurially. Since breaking into the business world in 2000 by selling fake IDs during his freshman year at Emory, this high-IQ, sharp-eyed hustler has cut a swath across the entertainment spectrum, drawing “oohs” and “ahhs” from the captains of industry. 

Look at what he’s pulled off with Biebs and Ariana Grande, while nimbly rolling up management companies to create an empire at fast-break speed after snagging a $120 million VC investment, investing in Spotify and Uber long before they were household names, and monumentally topping it off by snagging Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group—the music-biz equivalent of a length-of-the-court pass for a rim-rattling dunk. That’s just for starters.

“He understands the entertainment business, he understands rights, he understands intellectual property, products, social networking, tech,” said UMG chieftain Lucian Grainge to The New Yorker as the ink was drying on the open-ended label deal he signed with Braun’s Schoolboy Records in 2012, while also naming him Uni’s first technology “entrepreneur in residence.” 

But in 2000, this high school basketball star and three-time class president was back at ground zero, a college freshman with no connections. “I was always kind of hustling,” Scooter acknowledged in a 2018 interview with AdAge. “I had good ideas on how to market stuff. What I learned from party promotion was an even better lesson: In Atlanta, I was in a cash business. Your word was your bond. If you broke your word, you had nothing to stand on. That taught me that if you made the wrong deal, you still had to stand by your word. Your reputation will set you up for your next six deals.” 

It was in Atlanta that Scooter first crossed paths with mega-attorney Joel Katz, who has been representing him ever since. “I met Scooter when he worked for Jermaine Dupri, doing all those parties and going to college at the same time,” Katz recalls.

“He was incredible, and he’s still incredible. But more than anything else, Scooter has an entrepreneurial spirit, which he brings to everything he does, including his management activities, his business-investment activities and his technology activities.”

Read the complete profile here.

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