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Friday, May 9, 2014

The start of the NFL Draft weekend has reminded me of some of the more interesting questions and comments that I have been asked by clients and their families as they wait to "live the dream." Lets review a few of those:

1. Why did I not get drafted in the first round? My brother said I should have.
2. Do they give me my signing bonus in a big bag of money? 
3. My friend's dad's brother's stepson told me I would be drafted in the 4th round by the Colts. I went to the Raiders instead. What in the hell happened?
4. Can I have a draft party? 
5. Now that I signed a post-Draft free agent contract with a $500 signing bonus should I go buy a house?
6. That other agent told me my son would get's your fault he was not.
7. Can I bring my girlfriend to training camp?
8. My parents thought I would be drafted in the second round by Houston, my dad already quit his job. Will you hire my dad? 
9. Can't I just show up at an NFL camp and try to walk on? 
10. I love the Steelers. Can't we call them and ask them to draft me?
11. Now that I've been drafted, my girlfriend wants to get married. Should I?
12. My cousin asked me to lend him some of my signing bonus money so [pick one]: (i) he can open a recording studio, or (ii) he can open a car wash, or (iii) he can get a new tattoo, or (iv) he can just hang out and 'be the man.'
13. How soon before I get to do commercials with Peyton Manning?
14. Can you call Nike and see if they will give me an endorsement deal?
15. What is the Canadian Football League?
16. [Insert Name of any other player that was drafted instead of your guy]? [Name] was drafted?!! Seriously?!! He sucks
17. I have some negotiating experience from my job at the tire store. I want to help you negotiate my brother's contract. 
18. Can you call the head coach at the [pick any NFL team] and tell them I am a really good player and that if they invite me to camp I will make the team?
19. I just blew out my knee playing basketball after the Draft. Do we have to tell the team that just drafted me?
20. What do you mean I have to pay you?


Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Wonderlic Test: Do You Wonder if Your Favorite Player is Dumb?

Whose smarter in the Wonderlic Test? Your average NFL player or a security guard? The average score for a NFL player is 20. For the answer to see if this beats Joe Rentacop ...and to take the test yourself...hit this link ...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Athlete Representation and the Marketing of Endorsements

[Note: the below article was written by Gerik Jenco of Del Duca Sports]

Endorsements are of great importance to an athlete because not only can it increase his annual salary dramatically it can also lead to post-athletic career opportunities. With the increasing popularity of professional sports today, marketing your client is a vital part of the athlete representation business. Whether it is the backup quarterback signing autographs at a local sporting goods store or a national television commercial involving the star wide receiver, marketing the athlete through endorsements can be instrumental in securing a long-term relationship with that athlete. Endorsements allow athletes to serve as spokespersons for companies, promote a specific brand, and even become part of the entertainment industry. In addition to receiving monetary compensation athletes may also receive the endorsing product as payment. If the product is athletic equipment in the particular sport in which the athlete plays it can be very beneficial to that athlete by aiding in his training and/or his season.

Team vs. Individual Sports

Three out of the four major professional sports leagues have a salary cap in place with Major League Baseball being the lone exception. As a result, teams can only spend so much money on its players and, consequently, players are “capped” in terms of what they can make for their on-the-field athletic ability. Therefore, players and their advisors must look for other ways for the athlete to make money. This is where the importance of endorsements comes into play. Of the top ten highest paid athletes in 2009, LeBron James (ranked 3rd overall) made the most from endorsements for athletes involved in team sports. His earnings of $28,000,000 through endorsements were nearly double his salary for that year of $14,410,581. Next on the endorsements earnings list was Shaquille O’Neal (ranked 5th overall) at $15,000,000 followed by Peyton Manning (ranked 10th overall) at $13,000,000. The top Major League Baseball players listed were Derek Jeter (ranked 9th overall) at $8,500,000 and Alex Rodriguez (ranked 4th overall) at $6,000,000. Relying on these aforementioned numbers one can interpret that although the level of importance of endorsements may fluctuate depending on what league the player participates in (i.e. NBA versus NFL versus MLB), endorsements are nonetheless very essential to an athlete’s earnings.

When dealing with individual sports – such as golf and auto racing – endorsements can play an even bigger role in an athlete’s annual compensation because the athletes in these sports only make the bigger bucks when they win a tournament/race, or at least finish near the top of the final standings. Referring back to the previous ranking list for 2009, the two highest paid spots were taken by athletes who participate in individual sports. Tiger Woods’ endorsement earnings were $92,000,000 (ranked 1st overall) which engulfs his 2009 winnings of $7,737,626. Right behind Woods was another golfer, Phil Mickelson (ranked 2nd overall), who earned $46,600,000 through endorsements, compared to his tour winnings of $6,350,356. NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who hasn’t won a race since 2008, ranked eleventh due, in large part, to his endorsement earnings of $22,000,000. Other athletes who participate in individual sports who made the top fifty highest paid list were NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon (ranked 21st overall) with $15,000,000 in endorsement earnings and PGA golfer Jim Furyk (ranked 41st overall) with $11,000,000 earned through endorsements. Again, these rankings and numbers illustrate how the endorsement factor in individual sports, such as golf and NASCAR, may be more important to these athletes than athletes in football or basketball.

Although the degree to which an athlete uses endorsements for his annual compensation may depend on the sport and league in which he plays, it is extremely important to understand the crucial part that endorsements play in the professional athlete’s life.


The representation fees for negotiating contracts on behalf of a professional athlete can range between 2 percent and 5 percent, with 5 percent being close to the maximum. Conversely, negotiating endorsement deals for that same athlete can earn the representative a fee of anywhere from 10 percent up to, and sometimes beyond, 30 percent. Accordingly, not only do endorsements play a crucial role in the lives of professional athletes but being adept at finding, negotiating, and securing endorsement deals for these athletes can be very rewarding for his representative as well.

Facebook, Twitter, and the Like

As the internet and network sites become increasingly effective in our everyday lives so, too, do they become part of the professional athlete’s daily repertoire and routine. Over the past few years we have witnessed athletes “tweeting” at halftime or on the sideline during a game, their faces plastered all over the internet, and having thousands of Facebook friends all the while still participating in the sport he plays. While some may view this new occurrence as disruptive, ignorant, or being “cocky” it has become a major marketing tool for the representative and the athlete.

Whether it is the athlete having his own website, creating his own Facebook page, or “tweeting” about the touchdown he just scored, these endorsing companies look for ways to get their name/product in the public eye as much as possible. As a result, the more friends an athlete has on Facebook, the more times he “tweets” his opinion, and, especially, the bigger his personal website becomes the more endorsement deals he could receive.

Post-Athletic Career Opportunities

An athlete’s professional playing career does not last forever so he must plan for his career after sports. Securing the right endorsements is one way for an athlete to find his niche in his new career. Through his endorsements Peyton Manning found his way to hosting Saturday Night Live, among other ventures. Chad Ocho-Cinco, a.k.a. Chad Johnson, has his own reality television show due, in part, to his “tweeting” ability and endorsement opportunities. Shaquille O’Neal has his own reality television show as well thanks to his numerous appearances through his endorsements. The entertainment industry is an obvious post-career choice because of the athlete being comfortable in front of the television public through his endorsements as well as countless interviews. However, even if you are not the star player for your particular team – as the above players happen to be – endorsements can lead into post career choices for other athletes as well. Whether it is a spokesperson for local companies, motivational speaker for community groups, or your everyday businessman, getting your name and image in the public as much as possible can help attract people to the athlete in any field in which he may endeavor.

Endorsements help create a good brand image and a good brand image assists the athlete in solidifying his confidence to make any post career move he wishes to make.

Insurance and the Economy

A recent trend in the endorsement field has athletes approaching these contracts in a different manner. Over the past couple of years more athletes have become involved in negative, off-the-field scandals or issues which have their endorsing companies taking out insurance to protect themselves against the loss of endorsements through these negative actions. When an athlete is viewed in a negative light not only does it show poorly on the athlete but it can cast the company and its product in a dark shadow as well. In addition to the off-the-field issues, the poor economy also has companies taking a more precautionary approach as to what athlete they choose, how long the contract should be, and what specific terms should be included in the contract, such as a morals clause so they can terminate the endorsement contract at will if the athlete does actions that offend society.

The recent developments in this field not only put the athlete on notice in regards to how his off-the-field behavior can affect his endorsement deals but also may put more emphasis on the decision of choosing the correct representation. The athlete wants to choose the representative that can not only handle the contract negotiation the best but who now also has the keen sense of knowing the right endorsement deal when it appears. Of course, if the athlete is a superstar in his respective sport these deals may be easier to come by but it does not mean that these same athletes are immune to the reactions in today’s world.


When all is said and done the endorsement deal has become more of a necessity than ever before. The representative wants to, and by most parts, needs to maximize the athlete’s opportunity, both on and off-the-field. The endorsement “factor” has become such an integral part of the athlete representation business that an ‘Endorsement’ class could be introduced into the growing Sports Management Educational Programs across the globe and we would still need extra time to familiarize ourselves with the concept.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

British Tax Man About to Yell Fore at Tiger Woods?

Seems that the participation of Tiger Woods at the Ryder Cup In Britain October 1-3 is presenting a major tax problem to him and other U.S team golfers -- and not in terms of being taxed by the U.K. on that event's prize money (there isn't any). The Brits want to tax a portion of Tiger's approximate $50 million a year endorsement income since he has now made the U.S. team. Read more about here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What is BLESTO and National?

For those of you who are already thinking of the 2011 NFL draft here's a good article on what outside services some of the NFL boys use to get there draft lists together. Note some guys may be a turd on one list and a top 3 round pick on the other.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What To Get Your Local Bullfighter to Sign So He Doesn't Sue Your Ass

Waiver and Release for this type of activity

I, _____________, acknowledge that bullfighting is an extremely dangerous activity, that participation in and presence at a bullfighting venue or event, including but not limited to the bullfighting event and its related activities that is to take place at the Comanche County Fairgrounds in Lawton, Oklahoma on November 6, 2010 (hereinafter collectively the “Event”), exposes me to serious and substantial hazards and risks of property damage, physical injury and/or death, and that I have been fully warned with regard to all such risks and hazards. I realize that the risks are not restricted to only competing but also include being in the arena, behind the chutes, in the livestock holding area, pens and any other areas associated with the Event. Being fully aware that my participation in and presence at a bullfighting event will result in my exposure to substantial and serious hazards and risks of property damage, physical injury and/or death and in consideration of participating in the Event and its related activities, I, for and on behalf of myself and my spouse, children, parents, next of kin, heirs, representatives, successors and assigns, unconditionally and irrevocably agree to assume all such hazards and risks and do hereby unconditionally and forever discharge, waive, hold harmless and release Extreme Bullfighters Tour LLC and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, shareholders, employees, members, agents and representatives (all hereinafter “EBT”) and EBT’s officials, judges, bullfighters, volunteers and contractors, together with all other parties or entities involved in the sanctioning, approval, production, organization, conduct, sponsoring, advertising and performance of the Event and its related activities (and each such persons’ or entities’ affiliates, officers, directors, employees, volunteers and agents, hereinafter collectively the “Releasees”), for any matter relating to my participation in the Event or relating to this Waiver and Release, and from any and all claims, demands, losses, costs, liabilities and responsibilities arising from or in any way relating to my participation in or presence at the Event, including any claims, demands, losses, costs, liabilities or other responsibilities that are known or unknown, seen or unforeseen, future or contingent, and whether or not such claims, demands, losses, costs, liabilities, or other responsibilities are occasioned, in whole or in part, by the negligence of the Releasees, or otherwise. In addition, I agree I will not now or at any time in the future, directly or indirectly, commence, threaten or prosecute any claim, action, suit or other proceeding against or all of the Releasees, arising out of or related to the claims, demands, liabilities and other responsibilities I am by this Release and Waiver document assuming, discharging, waiving and releasing.

Further, in consideration of being able to participate in the Event, I hereby indemnify and shall continue to indemnify and agree to hold harmless EBT (and all related companies, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, associates, members, partners, shareholders, officers, directors, employees, agents, officials, contractors and sponsors) from any and all claims, liabilities, actions costs, expenses and all other financial obligations asserted, made or threatened by any person (including without limitation, myself, any employer of mine, any business of mine, my spouse, children, parents, next of kin, heirs, representatives, successors and assigns of mine) against EBT (and all related companies, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, associates, members, partners, shareholders, officers, directors, employees, agents, officials, contractors and sponsors) in respect to all injuries and damage including without limitation any and all property damage, personal injury or death occasioned by me by virtue of or arising out of my participation in the Event.

The undertakings and covenants of the provisions of this Waiver and Release document shall survive the expiration or termination of the Event and are binding upon me, any employer of mine, any business of mine, my spouse, children, parents, next of kin, heirs, representatives, successors and assigns. I have carefully read and understand this Waiver and Release document and have been advised to seek legal counsel and advice pertaining to the matters released and waived herein.

I hereby acknowledge and affirm by signing below that I have read this Waiver and Release document and that I hereby intend to be bound by the provisions of this Waiver and Release document as stated herein.

Signed this ____ day of _______, 2010.

Name: (print) _______________________
Name: (sign) _______________________