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When a professional athlete gets traded, they often have to uproot their entire life and move almost immediately.
Take former Denver Broncos star Von Miller for example, who was traded earlier this season to the Los Angeles Rams. Within a matter of days, he had to get himself and his belongings from Denver to Los Angeles. At the same time, he had to worry about navigating an entirely different work environment and performing at practice and in games.
With so many moving parts, it’s almost impossible for an athlete to be on top of all the logistics associated with the trade. But that’s where the Dingman Group comes in. The Denver-based sports relocation management company works with professional athletes across a number of sports to help make changing teams easier.
“When Von Miller is acquired by a trade, the team that acquires him is on the hook to pay reasonable moving expenses,” says Chris Dingman, CEO of the Dingman Group. “That means first-class tickets to him and his family. That means a hotel for X amount of days. That means rent or mortgage payments in the previous city for X amount of months. That means reasonable moving expenses for household goods moving from the old city to the current team city.”
The company has six employees, including operations, marketing, and finance, along with a cadre of real estate agents, movers, and transporters across the country who help manage all of that. It handles more than 1,000 relocations each year and can help between 50 to 100 people move on any given day. Dingman says the life cycle of a relocation for a coach, player, or employee is anywhere from 15 to 90 days.
“[We’re] a really different, robust company,” Dingman says. “We have hundreds of [real estate agents] across the country who support these people with buying and selling homes. We have dozens of movers, dozens of vehicle transporters, temporary housing providers, pet transporters. It’s a full-on supply chain that we manage.”
Although the firm didn’t help Miller relocate, it has worked with other Broncos like Melvin Gordon and Kenny Young, Avalanche players Devon Toews and Darcy Kuemper, and Nuggets assistant coach Jordi Fernandez, to name a few.
Many of these athletes and other clients are referred to the Dingman Group through colleagues, friends, coaches, agents, and significant others. The company is also a go-to relocation partner for more than 50 teams and organizations nationwide.
Dingman founded the company in 2007 in Newport Beach, California, after hearing coaches’ wives at a University of Southern California football game talk about how real estate agents were pressuring them to buy a home. They knew that their family was likely to move again in the next few years for another coaching job. Dingman later moved the company to Denver in 2016 due to the city’s central location, business-friendly environment, and the fact that five professional teams are located near each other.
After working with countless athletes and coaches over the past 14 years, the Dingman Group is now listed as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., according to Inc. The firm’s revenue grew 2,058 percent between 2017 and 2020.
The company also relocates entire teams. In 2017, Dingman Group helped move the Chargers from San Diego to Los Angeles and recently moved the Las Vegas Raiders from Oakland, California. It even assists with gameday operations—getting the necessary equipment from one arena to another and back to the home city after the game—as well as training camp operations.
This keeps Dingman more than busy, but he doesn’t plan on stopping there. The organization is expanding to collegiate sports, supporting athletic departments and coaches with similar services offered to professional athletes.
In the last 18 months, the Dingman Group has also begun dipping into the real estate and development industry. “Not everyone buys a home, and we are currently putting them in a place we don’t own and know nothing about,” Dingman says. Currently, the company is finding ways to buy real estate on a team or player’s behalf. Future plans, however, include building apartments and mixed-use facilities near campuses or practice facilities for these athletes and teams.
“We’ve grown up,” Dingman says. “When this thing first started, my customers didn’t even understand what this was, didn’t know that it existed. And we’ve developed into a full-blown corporation with employees, with major processes and workflows in place, [and] a lot, a lot of technology.”
(Read more: Denver’s Icon Source Is Like Match.com for Athletes and Brands)