A busy time of year


Chris Dingman, who helps relocate athletes, is amid a whirlwind because of rampant player movement in the NFL.

August 02, 2011|By Steve Virgen,
(Courtesy of The…)

As an ESPN NFL reporter speculated where a big-name free agent would land, Chris Dingman smiled because he knew the location.

Dingman, who is in charge of The Dingman Group, is not a rival reporter or a sports agent. As a man behind the scenes he finds out some of the transactions before they are reported. He specializes in a unique business. He relocates athletes, helping them find new homes, move, transport cars and other off-the-field details that go with joining a new team.

For the sake of privacy, Dingman could not reveal the free agent he smiled about during the speculation, only that the NFL player relocated to Pennsylvania.

Dingman's been at it since 2006. But this year is different for sure. He has been working with dozens of NFL players – some of the top free agents – doing his best to provide a smooth transition during such a hectic season.


Dingman, a Newport Beach resident, usually has a whole NFL offseason to work with players who are traded or sign with another team. But because of the 136-day NFL lockout, some of his business was slow.

When the lockout was lifted, the work poured in. Dingman has clients in other pro sports too. So he's been extra busy with business stemming from Major League Baseball trades as well.

"It's definitely been a whirlwind, but in a good way," Dingman said Friday. "There's a big difference right now what's going on in the NFL and what we're traditionally used to."

Usually, he has months to plan for relocation when dealing with NFL players. But this year he's doing what he normally does in a matter of a few days or a couple weeks.

Dingman turned 33 on July 27. He didn't have much time to plan for a party. He just had a sushi dinner in Manhattan Beach with close friends.

"My birthday present was a whole bunch of free agents asking me to help them," Dingman said.

As such, he had to cancel his attendance at a friend's wedding this past weekend. He also missed out on an annual family trip to the Central Coast because there was so much work.

"There's significantly more business than last year," Dingman says. "And, at a different time of the year than normal."

He doesn't see much money from the athletes who sign new multi-million dollar contracts. Dingman's company makes most of its money from relocation management fees, real estate brokers and other company referrals.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles