Woodruff Native is one of the NFL’s Most Successful Player Agents
By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Writer
Tory Dandy stood surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues on Aug. 29 at a celebration in his honor at Underpin Lanes ‘N Lounge as he received keys to the city of Spartanburg and, most importantly, his hometown of Woodruff.
Dandy, a star football player for the late legendary Coach Willie Varner, has been blazing a years-long trail as one of the most successful player agents in the National Football League. That hard work was rewarded once more as Dandy was recently promoted to co-head and managing partner of Creative Arts Agency’s (CAA) football division.
It was the latest achievement for Dandy in a brilliant career representing athletes at the highest level of sports, a profession that years ago served as the key to unlocking the passion and drive to succeed that welled within him.
“It’s an honor for sure,” said Dandy. “There is still work to be done and I always look forward to what lies ahead. To be from Woodruff, starting in this business 16 years ago as an intern, and to now be head of a multi-billion-dollar corporation, it has taken a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and support from my clients. I am very humbled.”
Creative Arts Agency is number one on Forbes’ list of most valuable sports agencies with a total sum of clients’ contract values totaling $10.6 billion. Dandy is now in charge of the world’s largest football player agency which has a current division total of $4.3 billion in player contracts.
In the wake of his promotion, the cities of Woodruff and Spartanburg joined forces to host a celebration Dandy’s honor. Until the last moment, the festivities were a complete surprise to the man of the hour himself as Dandy believed the night would be one of guest speakers ranging from friends, colleagues, and local politicians.
“It was very unexpected,” Dandy said. “It is very much appreciated. It’s hard to put into words because these are things I used to never really think about or shoot for. It’s an unbelievable feeling and a blessing. I look forward to continuing to make everyone proud.”
In addition to receiving keys to Woodruff and Spartanburg, Spartanburg County Councilman Michael Brown awarded an official proclamation which dedicates Aug. 29, 2020 as “Tory Dandy Day” throughout Spartanburg County.
Dandy becomes CAA’s first African-American co-head of football operations and managing partner, something he is incredibly proud of as he works tirelessly as a role model for young, up-and-coming African-American agents in an industry that was historically slow to welcome black agents into their ranks.
“That aspect certainly means a lot,” said Dandy of his mentorship efforts. “Being the first African-American managing partner, that comes with great opportunity and responsibility. A lot of agents out there aspire to just be an agent but I want to show them there is so much more they can do. I hope I can continue to be an inspiration. The spotlight is on and I understand what comes with that. The last 16 years have prepared me to continue leading the charge.”
Dandy has worked hard his entire life to achieve his current success. He attended South Carolina State University before graduating from Tusculum College with a Bachelor’s of Business Management degree with a minor in Sports Management in 2002. He earned his Master’s of Business Administration from Webster University in 2004 before embarking on his professional career, and has been with CAA sports since 2016.
Dandy represents a star-studded list of NFL clients that include six first-round draft picks and former Clemson stars such as Sammy Watkins, Mike Williams, and Shaq Lawson. Additionally, Dandy represents emerging young stars Devin White, Marshon Lattimore, and CeeDee Lamb, as well as South Carolina natives Deebo Samuel and Alshon Jeffrey.
He has helped his athletes sign contracts worth a cumulative total of $600 million. Based in Charlotte for the past five years, Dandy will transition his operations to Atlanta beginning in 2021.
Never one who has rested on his laurels, Dandy still has big plans and knows more hard work is ahead.
“I have already started working towards building our football division even larger,” he said. “I want to continue leading and building this division with our great people and leadership. I love helping the young men I represent become great citizens as they continue to grow and evolve in their careers. I am as hungry now as I was when I was an intern and I’m looking forward to what the future has in store.”