Mike Armstrong

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Relocating Rams: How Will The NFL Handle a Franchise Moving Cities?

Posted by Mike Armstrong on Jan 20, 2016 1:00:00 PM


The NFL announced recently that the St. Louis Rams will be relocating their franchise to Los Angeles next season. If you’re not familiar with the process, that essentially means that the entire team is still under contract—players, coaches, and staff members—but the team is now based out of a different location. Essentially, everyone who is choosing to stay with the Rams will be relocating to a new city. 

Some people may look at this situation and think that, since they’re professional athletes they can easily afford a new home, and most people would probably rather live in L.A. than St. Louis, but that’s not looking at the big picture.

These athletes are under contract. They are required to report to their team’s new location on day one and continue participating in team activities, or that contract is voided. While the NFL’s league minimum for a rookie contract is still substantial at $435K, careers in professional sports, especially football, are shorter and less predictable than conventional jobs. Losing money on property and a change in cost of living still has an impact, and the effect of relocation doesn’t stop there.

Matt Stover went through the same process in 1996 as a member of the Cleveland Browns when the franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens. He actually voiced his opinions to ESPN this week, and suggested that Rams players should be compensated for costs associated with their relocation, “Players came to us and said, 'You told us seven, eight months ago to be part of the community and buy a house and now I have to sell?'"

Many of these players have families who had settled into their homes in St. Louis. Their kids attend area schools, their spouses and significant others have local friends, have local jobs, and have made an effort to be a part of their local communities. These are just a few of the issues surrounding relocation that don’t have a financial solution. Support has to be offered in these situations as well.

Pardon the shameless pun, but when you’re starting a new job after a relocation it can be difficult to hit the ground running when there are unresolved issues surrounding the move. With all of the emphasis pro teams put on avoiding distractions, it’s hard not to see this move as detrimental to the mentality inside the locker room. The organization should be doing everything in its power to make sure their players and their families have a smooth transition.

Relocation is very common in professional sports. Players are frequently traded, or their contracts end and they’re signed by a team in a different city. In many cases throughout the major professional sports leagues, teams assist traded players with their relocation, and free agents are often given a signing bonus similar to a lump sum benefit, but when an entire franchise relocates the circumstances are different. In fact, according to ESPN, Stover said that, “The Browns chose not to pay for the realtor fees and closing costs on the houses sold by the players. The organization contended that anything paid beyond moving expenses would be a violation of the salary cap.”

The other issue with a signing bonus intended for relocation spending is taxes. Signing bonuses (read lump sums) are taxable as income. The larger that payment is, the more taxes are taken out of it. Leveraging relocation tax laws, or simply using direct bill for relocation expenses, could end up saving these players and their organization thousands, perhaps millions of dollars. It might even circumvent these salary cap issues.

The process of relocating an entire professional sports franchise isn’t necessarily common, but it does occur every few years among the major professional sports leagues. A more consistent and established process could go a long way to making the process less stressful and more efficient for everyone involved.

So while Stover’s ideas for a financial package being provided to Rams players relocating to Los Angeles this year should be considered, it only addresses the financial aspect of relocation. A more well-rounded set of relocation benefits, including familial assistance, settling in assistance, connection to the best suppliers, and more, would serve the relocating members of the Rams organization, and any relocating athlete for that matter, to a much higher degree.

ending a year of relocations

Here's Why Your SMB Needs Relocation

Posted by Mike Armstrong on May 27, 2015 3:14:00 PM

smb relocation

There are no rules about what size a company needs to be before it starts relocating employees. Still, relocation is often mis-considered as a function that only larger businesses with many locations implement.

But what about relocating new hires? That’s exactly where relocation becomes a need-to-have for SMBs. 

Largely thanks to relocating newly hired employees, a recent study conducted by Atlas Van Lines concluded that 97% of small to mid-size businesses did some form of relocation over the past year. Despite that overwhelming number, not many of these companies have a formal relocation policy in place. SMBs should approach relocation as a normal function of their business, and they should have a policy and strategy in place to do it the right way. Here’s why... 

Hiring the Best People

We’ve mentioned time and time again that the best way to ensure that you’re hiring the top talent in any field is to avoid limiting your search geographically. Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if your office is in New York City or a small town in Idaho, the best candidate is not always going to be local. Trust us, if you look outside your city for quality hires, you’re going to find some people who will make your business more successful, but the trick is convincing them to relocate.blog_052515weds_lm15-2.gif

Setting Yourself Up to Scale

Just about every business owner is interested in potential growth, especially SMBs. Bringing in that top talent is a great way to build your business to the point that scaling becomes, not only an option, but a necessity. The more your company succeeds, the faster it will scale, and once that scaling starts to hit full swing is when you’ll really need a relocation policy. The sooner your company has a relocation policy in place, the better your future relocations will be. Nothing runs more smoothly than something that has been tested with time. 

It’s More Affordable Now Than Ever

Another reason that relocation is less common among small market businesses is that relocation used to be a lot more costly. Advancements in technology are disrupting the old price model, making relocation more affordable than ever before. With Relocation Management Software, the entire process requires less manpower, and can be done at a far lower price.

It also helps alleviate churn. Think about it. If you’re bringing in better candidates from around the country, then you’ll have fewer positions that need to be filled because somebody simply didn’t work out.

Relocation Management Software is the Key

Relocation Management Software doesn’t just make relocation more affordable, it makes it easier to implement as well. It used to take a lot of manpower, especially from the HR department, to relocate employees. Furthermore, making sure all of the relevant company documents found their way to new employees required plenty of logistics. Relocation Management Software provides all of that with ease. Your HR people will remain free to do their jobs, and your relocating employees will still receive all the help they need. This is especially crucial for smaller companies.

SMBs are a perfect fit for relocation policies that include relocation management software. When they are combined, they allow for better hiring, more efficient action, better company growth.

relocation for the smb

Topics: SMB

Process Leads Ohio State to the National Championship

Posted by Mike Armstrong on Jan 14, 2015 11:57:45 AM

29274185_sIf you work in an office in the United States, you’ve probably heard at least a little bit of talk this week about the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

On Monday night, the Oregon Ducks and the Ohio State University Buckeyes battled for the title in the first ever playoff series in NCAA football history.

When big moments occur in the sports world, there are noticeable connections to the business world, mainly because of the team aspect. This game, even this season, gives us great examples of how success is achieved and maintained. 

All eyes were on the quarterback position Monday night, as Oregon’s Marcus Mariota was pitted against Ohio State’s Cardale Jones. As far as college football quarterbacks go, it doesn’t get much more distinguished than Mariota, who captured the Heisman Trophy this year, and held a career record of 36-4 heading into Monday night’s game. Jones, on the other hand, was third on Ohio State’s quarterback depth chart this season, and this National Championship Game was the third start of his entire NCAA career (his first was the Big Ten title game, his second was the Sugar Bowl). Considering the stark contrast in experience and accolades, most people predicted Mariota’s Ducks would take the championship over the inexperienced Jones and the Buckeyes. They were wrong. Ohio State won the game by a definitive score of 42-20. 

How Were They Able To Win? - Process and Leadership


Having a strong, established process in place ensures that, no matter what member of your team is in play, they’re going to execute the overall plan. Ohio State was able to win consistently throughout the 2015 season despite injuries causing them to start three different guys under center. A third-string QB can often spell disaster for a football team, especially in big games. Well so far, Jones has only played in big games, and he’s won them all. Ohio State’s consistency comes from the processes put in place by head coach Urban Meyer.

The same principal applies to the business world, take the UrbanBound sales team for example. Over the last three years, we’ve seen a lot of growth. We’ve added new members and had people change roles, but the results we’ve achieved have remained consistent. Sure, hiring the right people for the job plays a big part in getting results, but without a process-driven mentality talent goes unrealized. You need to get your team to the point that, if you lose somebody, you’re still firing on all cylinders when the next person steps up.

When everybody shares the same vision and knows how to execute a good plan correctly, failure seems impossible. Put a process in place and make sure your entire team is onboard. You’ll find that things work better no matter who is in the game.


Urban Meyer is 141-26 as a head coach, and on Monday he won his third National Title. He’s one of the greatest coaches of all time and his career isn’t even over. Process is important, but it’s nothing without strong leadership. After all, who establishes these processes to begin with?

Coming up with the right plan and making sure every aspect of your team can follow it is crucial to your company’s success. Consistent, positive results don’t happen by accident, you have to make the effort to ensure they come to fruition. We can’t all be Urban Meyer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from his example. Make a good game plan, stick with it, and make sure everybody under you understands it and can carry it out when they need to. You’ll get more out of people at every level.

On Monday night, Ohio State showed us the importance of process. Cardale Jones is certainly not your average third-string quarterback, but he’s also no Heisman Trophy winner. When you get down to it, following a strong process and executing it efficiently can trump raw talent any day. It works in football, and it works in the business world. As much as it pains this Iowa Hawkeye to admit it, we should all take a page from Urban Meyer and Ohio State’s playbook. Give your team the right process and they’ll all be able to step up when their number is called.

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