One day, she’s in Los Angeles watching the Connecticut Sun’s Chiney Ogwumike hit a game-winning layup against the Sparks. Another day, she’s touring the Great Wall of China with the Atlanta Dream’s Elizabeth Williams. Another day, she’s in Prague watching the New York Liberty’s Amanda Zahui dominate in the EuroLeague. And on another day, she’s in Portland at the Adidas headquarters with the Sparks’ Chelsea Gray.
As an agent for some of the WNBA’s top players, Allison Galer’s work is both widespread and nonstop.
“I’m always on the phone with people or at games, traveling where my clients are and where the business is… I’ve tried to do the right things to build in the best way,” Galer said.
Galer received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and then launched her own agency called Disrupt the Game at just 22 years old. She was admitted to the California State Bar after getting her law degree at UCLA and is a licensed WNBA agent and FIBA agent — all before the age of 29.
“I approach it as more of a leg up than anything,” Galer said of her relatively young age. “I can relate to clients… I’ve tried to alleviate any concerns about my age by hustling, being proactive and building my business.”
Much of Galer’s success stems from a passion for basketball and her deep roots in the sport. Her uncle, Lon Rosen, is the EVP and CMO of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was the longtime agent to Magic Johnson. He frequently brought her along to Lakers games and events, where Galer took advantage of the opportunity to meet people and make a good impression.
Galer’s networking drive led to an internship with the Sparks when she was in high school, which introduced a new passion for her.
“I attended the inaugural WNBA game when I was seven and a half, but I didn’t really grow up following it,” she said. “When I got exposed to the WNBA my senior year of high school, meeting personnel and developing an understanding of the league, it definitely intrigued me, especially because of my playing background.”
She went on to play basketball for a year at Brown, but decided to put her focus toward a different side of the sport. After working for companies like Fox Sports Net, Lagardere Unlimited and RaptorAccelerator, she knew what path she wanted to take.
“Playing basketball has always been a big part of my life, but I always knew my future would be on the business side of it,” she said.
So even before she attended law school, Galer founded Disrupt the Game, a full-service agency of sports and entertainment talent that focuses on contract negotiations, marketing and endorsements, broadcasting, speaking engagements, and public relations.
“If you can do it yourself, why not bet on yourself?” she said. “If you know you can help people, feel confident enough to get them to trust that you are working for them, and have their best interests at heart, bet on yourself. I’m confident, but I don’t pretend that I know all of answers. I have really hustled, picked the brains of my uncle and the many people I’ve built relationships within the business. Any questions I have, I always ask.”
Galer’s hard work has paid off — her impressive client list includes names like Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie, Alexis Jones of the Minnesota Lynx, Monique Billings of the Atlanta Dream and Kelsey Mitchell of the Indiana Fever, in addition to Williams, Zahui, Gray and Ogwumike.
“I think I have a unique relationship with each of my clients — it all depends on their needs and what they’re looking for,” Galer said. “Lisa met me when I was an intern with the Sparks. We built a relationship, we knew some of the same people. She took a chance on me because she wanted someone who she would be a priority for and would work hard for her… For Chiney, it’s important to have someone in lockstep with her, and that’s what I am with her. We are always hustling, planning, building together, with me trying to push her both on and off the court.”
“Allison is one of the rare people in the industry that’s young, motivated, self-made and a woman,” said Ogwumike, who is also an ESPN NBA analyst. “We’re like teammates, learning at the same time. Because she played ball, she understands the aspirations that women ball players have. Because she’s young, she can help us navigate our lives and guide us and keep everything in balance.”
“A lot of my job is helping people — if I wasn’t helping people every day, I wouldn’t like what I did,” she said. “I’m there for my clients for their triumphs and through their adversities.”
One challenge of working in the WNBA, specifically, is that the work doesn’t end once the season concludes. Many WNBA players also compete overseas in the offseason, so Galer makes it a point of watching them play in person.
“Being overseas with my clients is pretty powerful,” she said. “A lot of people have no idea what these women go through overseas — the living conditions, extensive travel, language barriers. If I can’t go somewhere and spend a couple days there, how can I send my clients there?”
Galer also knows from personal experience that forming connections and relationships is crucial in the sports industry. Part of that includes helping her players build connections that will further their careers after they retire from playing.
“I want my clients to meet people and be dedicated to bettering themselves,” Galer said. “They are smart, articulate women, and they’re super impressive, but it takes that in-person interaction. The more people they meet and the more relationships they build, the better they’ll be now, and in the future, especially in areas they want to go in.”
Galer continues to take steps to expand her own repertoire, as well. In addition to her full slate as an agent, Galer and Disrupt the Game represent two sports brands — Chance Athletics and AllNet Shooter.
Even with all of her projects and ventures, Galer values her clients and the relationships she’s built with them the most.
“That’s why my clients work with me — not every player is for me, and I’m not for every player because it really is a relationship with me,” she said. “They know I care, and that underlies my whole business.”