Eighteen-year-old David Prince of Highland Park and one of his clients, New York Knicks forward-center Al Harrington, received an award for their commitment to underprivileged youth at the recent annual gala of the Trinitas Health Foundation.
June 23, 2009
While most 18-year-olds are just beginning to explore career options, David Prince of Highland Park already runs a successful marketing and public relations firm with a clientele from the sports and entertainment world.
Between jetting to Las Vegas to represent clients, Prince also just completed his senior year at Moshe Aaron Yeshiva High School in South River while maintaining his religious traditions as an Orthodox Jew.
“It’s all about balance and timing,” said Prince. “People say it’s hard to be Jewish in the real world. But, regardless if I’m on ESPN with one of my clients doing an interview, I’m wearing a yarmulke. That’s very important to me. My religious observance comes first before anything.”
Business lunches, whether with a stellar athlete or a rising rock star, are always at kosher restaurants.
Prince recalled that a well-known athlete once wanted to call on Friday night even though he was told it was the Jewish Sabbath.
“I was sitting down to dinner and heard the phone go off and saw it was him,” said Prince. “He tried me several times. I called him back right after Shabbos, and he told me he had a lot of respect for me that someone like him called and I didn’t cave.”
His Manhattan-based company, Prince Management, was started only last year, but already has an impressive track record.
“I’ve worked with guys from the NBA and NFL and rockers like Mims and David Rush, who was Young Boss, because I also do rap,” said Prince.
For his entrepreneurial skills, Prince has received a $40,000 scholarship from the McKelvey Foundation. Also a graduate of Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva in Edison, he is the son of Edward and Abby Prince.
But the young executive is putting off college for a year to study in Israel at Reishit Yerushalayim in Beit Shemesh.
His most enduring professional relationship is with Al Harrington, forward-center for the New York Knicks and former star for St. Patrick’s High School in Elizabeth. Prince said he developed the athlete’s not-for-profit organization, the Al Harrington Foundation, which provides educational and life-enhancing opportunities for disadvantaged youth in New Jersey.
“I started with him last summer and thanks to him I was able to start my own company,” said Prince. “I realized that, wow, this is something I could really do. Once I had him on my ballot, I really built some credibility.”
Prince has been actively involving in promoting nonprofits for several years, a decision he said was inspired by a sense of tikun olam, or repairing the world.
“The whole world is not just about business or your achievements,” he said. “This brings you back to the real world.”
Prince launched his business career during a summer internship at the Ecko Unlimited clothing line and managed to make such an impression that he worked the stint into a full-time marketing and public relations position.
One of his department’s duties was to coordinate publicity and marketing for Tikva Children’s Home, a Jewish orphanage in Odessa, Ukraine, that is underwritten by the company. It holds an annual golf outing that draws celebrities and athletes.
After Prince met with Harrington to convince him to come to Ecko company events, the basketball star surprised Prince by offering him a job to promote him. Prince landed the star athlete an appearance on MTV Crib and garnered endorsement deals within weeks.
Prince said he has no intentions of giving up his company while in Israel, leaving behind a trusted staff with whom he will stay in constant touch.
“I’m very positive,” he added, “it will not affect my business.”