By Sydney Ciano
In the public’s eye, Italian sports agent Sean Stellato wears his three-piece black suit accompanied with a black fedora as he stands next to his client and quarterback for the New York Giants Tommy DeVito. But the DeVito agent is more than social media’s recent fixation. The publicity increase doesn’t stray him from his goals and values: Player success and family. “My family is very proud and being able to bring joy to them strikes a really unique chord for me,” Sean said. “It preserves the legacies of a lot of people that have been instrumental in any successes I’ve had – former coaches to my ancestors.” He took his family’s core values, “grit, resilience, loyalty, [and] faith,” with him throughout his entire football journey. As he stepped into the agency end of the sport, Sean wanted to implement these values into his business to carry his family with him through every ounce of success. Football and family were always conjoined throughout Sean’s life, and they continue to be connected today. Sean’s nephew and godson, Troy, is a starting wide receiver at Clemson University. Having played the game himself in college and eventually professionally, seeing another member of his family excel on the field hits close to heart. “It’s pretty cool, it’s special,” Sean said of Troy. “He knows that I’m on him all the time about making the right decision about working hard, about never letting the pedal off the gas, being relentless in [his] pursuit of greatness… and being unique, being different [and] not conforming.” It is also particularly special for Sean since Troy’s father and Sean’s brother, Eric Stellato, was a huge mentor for Sean. When transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver after his high school days, Eric helped Sean make the shift. Their brother Mike, who currently works for Chelsea Public Schools as an elementary school teacher, also served as a coach and role model for Sean when he was learning the game. Years later, Mike and Sean would coach the St. Mary’s High School team to a state championship victory in 2005. To this day, Sean refers to his brother as his most special coach. His football journey started at six years old watching Doug Flutie when his father grabbed his hand and pointed to the television screen. At that moment, Sean knew he wanted to be a football player, prompting his father to push him day by day. This included filming every one of Sean’s games, and rewatching them with him to find areas of improvement. Regardless of height, weight, or speed, it would be hard work and playing an honorable game that set Sean apart. “He’s my hero and I owe a lot of success as a player to my dad, as a sports agent [too],” he said of his father. In 1994, Sean brought the Salem High School Witches to the championship where he quarterbacked his team in the face of hardship. The legendary season for the Witches was almost cut short due to a teachers’ strike occurring, but he and his team were not discouraged. Sean’s final days on the field were with the Arena Football League. After finishing his Division I career at Marist College where he played football and basketball, he joined the Florida Firecats in 2002. From there he bounced to the Louisville Fire and the Memphis Xplorers until 2004. But football was part of Sean’s DNA, and he knew he could keep football in his life through business. So, his hard work and dedication were laser focused on building his brand for the success of his clients. “There’s not a lot of fish in the sea. So, my personal goals were to eventually have my own company and represent players that share the same values – core values – as myself,” he said. In 2013, he founded Stellato Sports. Nineteen of his clients have played for Super Bowl champions since. This decision to branch off and start his own agency was not a light decision. His wife, Krista, was his firmest believer. From taking care of their children to being a shoulder for Sean to lean on, Krista was and continues to be his rock. She motivated Sean to pursue his potential as an agent, acting as his loyal “director of operations… my football encyclopedia” ever since. In Dec. 2023, he was recognized and inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. His mother and father attended the induction ceremony, taking a 24-hour train ride to Chicago to see their son receive this honor. Even in gratitude for these recognitions, Sean’s focus never strays from his goals. Among these include finding players, whether drafted or undrafted, and using their talents and unique skills to market them. While helping his clients fulfill their potential by creating opportunities for them to grow, he also prioritizes keeping them grounded. Using their power and platform as an NFL player to help the community is key. “I’ve prided myself and that’s kind of a prerequisite whether it’s visiting a homeless shelter, going to a children’s hospital… or a hospital in the Bronx like [St. Barnabas Hospital] that really provides services for poverty-stricken families that can’t afford healthcare or medical relief,” Sean said. To bring awareness to things that affect his own life personally, he ties everything back to his family and gives them the opportunity to have their voices heard. With his daughter, Gianna, he wrote his fourth children’s book, Football Magic: A Pirate’s Tale. Sean wanted to involve his daughter, who has juvenile arthritis, in the writing process and use her as inspiration for the main character he named after her. Similarly with his other daughter, Sophia, Sean used her passion for gymnastics to inspire hope. Sophia is a Level-10 gymnast who suffers from celiac disease. Even on-duty, Sean’s children never leave his mind. Coming home from games, he returns with trinkets for his children. After Super Bowl LIII, Gianna requested a teddy bear and Sophia asked for a unicorn. After walking five miles to find Gianna’s bear, Sean attempted to stuff it into his backpack on top of the unicorn. Eventually giving up, the teddy bear poked out the top of his bag that he paraded around all day. And he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.