Ohimai Longe, is making a mark for himself in the football world and creating opportunities for players such as Luton Town’s Sam Nombe writes Emmanuel Ladapo.
Ohimai, popularly called Ohi works as an agent for the sports management company ARETE where he represents players such as Leicester City’s Wilfried Ndidi and Luton Town’s Sam Nombe.
In an exclusive interview with UOB today he discussed his work as an agent securing big deals for big players and how he conducts himself as an agent.
He talked about the accomplishments he has achieved with his clients so far in his career:
“I don’t like to put my accomplishments in a list or in order of best or worst I feel like all the deals I’ve had and opportunities to work on or be involved in have all been great experiences and actually leading on to what I’m looking to do in the future so my growth and working on some of the biggest deals in the world.”
“I’ve worked on a lot of exciting deals commercial deals in football to mention a few –Sam Nombe – Luton Town in the championship, Viv Solomon Otobo – Birmingham to CSK Sofia and Olowo to Doncaster.
“On the commercial side of things, I’ll say I’ve worked on a deal with Puma for a client of mine Jessica Naz of Tottenham Hotspur that was an amazing experience, first brand deal as well with a client. Kiara Keating –Manchester City’s second choice goalkeeper in the women’s game at 17. I did a deal for her with HO soccer.”
“As an agent I like to source commercial opportunities for my clients and done some commercial deals with Puma. I am always looking to create opportunities for my players and my ambition is to continue to work with the best brands to promote my clients mainly at first team level and continue and build clients’ profile.
There also always been a perception from some people that football agents can be untrustworthy and take advantage of their players for financial gain. Especially with finances increasing in the game and more agents signing players at young ages from 13 there has been an increasing scrutiny on agents in football.
Ohi discussed why he doesn’t fit the stigma and how he ensures he looks after his players:
“I used to be a player and played for professional clubs but was not fortunate to become a professional football player. I am passionate about helping clients to be the best they can and always looking for opportunities to help people not just my clients. In general I look to help players in any way I can. I will never take advantage of a client and jeopardise their career for personal gain.
“ I grew up in an abundance of care, support ,love and do not see the need to cheat people or take advantage, I like to support my clients with their best interest at heart instead of my interest.”
I asked Ohi about his experience of working as an agent for premier league players in particular his client Wilfried Ndidi, a famous premier league player for Leicester City, he talked about what was required in his role in working with a player of Ndidi’s stature:
“You need to be creative and think outside the box when working with famous Premier League players.
“Because a player is a big name doesn’t necessarily mean there will be commercial opportunities for him/her”.
“My job is to know my client’s interest and personality and source opportunities that I feel will suit my client.”
Ohi with his client and Leicester City midfielder Wilfried Ndidi