Ira Rainess specializes in complex legal deal structuring and business development for a high profile client base with his Rainmaker Representation Group. As the go to management agent in brand image development and athlete public/private partnerships, he also serves as the Head of the Sports & Entertainment Law practice at Silverman Thompson. A visionary in the world of sports law and business, his reputation is supported by staying ahead of the curve for some of the world’s greatest celebrity clients. Recently Ira served as President of the Alliance MMA, a sports and media company that is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
J.D., University of Baltimore School of Law, 1992
B.A., University of Maryland, 1989
Ira’s sports management career began in 1990 when he tutored under famed sports agent Ron Shapiro. There he established a relationship with baseball legend Cal Ripken, Jr. for whom he managed his marketing, business development, and legal matters as President and General Counsel for the Tufton Group. Creating and managing the first joint licensing partnership with MLB and MLBPA for Ripken's retirement tour, he pioneered Milestone Marketing, a model for Ripken’s “2131” Consecutive Games record, later used by other athletes commemorating achievements (NY TIMES 1997).
Ira has been certified with MLBPA, NFLPA, and PLPA and negotiated a $4.2M signing bonus for Gavin Floyd, at that time the largest MLB signing bonus ever for a High School pitcher. He has negotiated over $100 million in sports contracts. He works with a long list of corporate partners such as Under Armour, Nike, Red Bull, Chevrolet, EASports, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Oakley, Vitamin Water, Wheaties and New Balance.
In addition to sports industry clients, Ira has provided counsel to R&B star MARIO. As consultant to actor John Leguizamo with his agent role in the movie “The Fan” starring Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes, Ira was personally named in the movie. He also managed Jason Alexander’s public relations when he was married to Brittany Spears for 55 hours.
Recruited as an expert in his field, Ira has appeared on CNN, HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, ESPN's Outside the Lines and SportsCenter and has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Sports Business Journal, Sporting News and USA Today. He was also named to the prestigious 40 under 40 by the Baltimore Business Journal and was a national nominee to the SBJournal.
A Member of the Maryland Bar, Ira is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Business and Management and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He serves on the Board of the Sports Law Institute and is an Adjunct Professor teaching How to Represent the Professional Athlete.