Ray Schulte – President / CEO of Schulteauctions.com – An entrepreneur at heart, Schulte started his New York sports marketing and management agency in 1984. While representing many of Jim Krivacs’ up-and-coming players (including Howard Johnson, Harold Reynolds, Alvin Davis and Don Mattingly), Ray also accepted consulting projects such as adidas USA’s transition to Young and Rubicam to achieve a more global marketing and advertising strategy. For a year, he played an integral role as liaison between adidas USA’s boutique ad agency and global powerhouse Y&R.
During 1984–1988, MLB licensing evolved and Don Mattingly was one of the key preferred players included in the MLB licensees’ product releases. In addition to Krivacs’ clients, Schulte Sports Marketing secured representation agreements with such high-profile clients as former MLB Hall of Famer’s Roberto Clemente, Josh Gibson and former New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers manager, Buck Showalter.
As a result of working closely with all the MLB licensees and his vast knowledge of the national collectible category, Schulte’s talents were secured by MLB Properties to create and manage the 1991 MLB All-Star FanFest collectibles and licensing attraction. That relationship lasted more than a decade, through the 2002 MLB All-Star FanFest. Along the way, the NFL (1993–1995), NHL (1995–2004) and NBA (1994–2001) also retained Schulte for their respective licensing and collectible attractions included as part of their annual high-profile events.
In 2001, Ray Schulte was asked by current National Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. to represent his marketing (endorsements), licensing and signature business in Baltimore. Without hesitation, Schulte moved from Scottsdale, Arizona to oversee Ripken’s business endeavors including his minor-league affiliated team, the Aberdeen IronBirds, The Cal Ripken World Series (youth league–age 12) and the Cal Sr. Foundation.
In addition to player representation and consulting, Schulte created and managed the Roberto Clemente All-Star Weekend presented by American Airlines in Puerto Rico. This very successful event (2002–2005) included a celebrity golf challenge and the annual Clemente Gala where the prestigious Roberto Clemente International Youth Award was presented (Chi Chi Rodriguez 2002, Carlos Delgado 2003, Joe Morgan 2004 and Bernie Williams 2005).
In 2004, Cal Ripken asked Schulte to develop and manage a national collectible/memorabilia e-commerce firm. In response, Schulte created Ironclad Authentics LLC, built the infrastructure and successfully launched the e-store website in December 2004 and on-line auction platform during the fourth quarter, 2007.
Since its inception, Ironclad forged relationships with high-profile corporate partners such as MLB (authentication program) and MLB.com (selling platforms), Bank of America (rewards programs), QVC (three on-air collectible shows), Comcast SportsNet (media auction partner), and MAB (Baseball’s Best—co-partnered major baseball collectibles and signature event / 60 players signing), among others.
2007 was a very exciting and challenging opportunity for Schulte Sports. Key relationships with MLB licensees and other manufacturers enabled Schulte to create extensive marketing, licensing and signature opportunities for Cal Ripken’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Schulte Sports is actively looking to expand our player representation client base. Presently, Schulte represents the Cal Ripken, Jr., former New York Yankee great Don Mattingly, Pittsburgh Pirate legend and Baseball Hall of Famer, Roberto Clemente, Negro League great and Baseball Hall of Famer, Josh Gibson, former Manager of the Year, Buck Showalter, Hockey Hall of famer and former NY Ranger great Rod Gilbert, Washington Redskins and 1972 NFL MVP, running back Larry Brown and Los Angeles Dodgers 2006 first round pick Preston Mattingly.
Schulte Sports specializes in representing all aspects of the player’s off the field activities, including but not limited to: licensing, marketing, signature management, public relations, website development, e-commerce opportunities, charitable relationships and evaluating and analyzing all projects and opportunities presented to the player in any business capacity.
In addition to athlete representation, Schulte Sports is nationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities on licensed collectibles and vintage memorabilia in the country. The company recently launched SchulteAuctions.com on May 1, 2009.
Ray Schulte is a regular column writer on Collecting for the Maryland’s PressBox monthly sports magazine. Ray also co-host PressBox Live sports radio show each Saturday morning, broadcast on Baltimore’s ESPN Radio’s 1300 station.