SBD/Issue 129/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Too Much Like Mike: Falk Longs For Change In Marketing NBA Stars

Falk Says Companies "Trying
To Find The Next Michael"
Sports agent David Falk appeared on Sports Business Radio Sunday to promote his book, “The Bald Truth,” and to discuss his career as a sports agent. Falk repped former NBAer Michael Jordan, and he said Jordan’s deal with Nike “jumpstarted -- no pun intended -- his marketing success.” Falk said of Jordan, “In everything he did … he did it as Michael Jordan. He wasn’t trying to be James Bond. He wasn’t trying to be a rapper. He wasn’t trying to be a movie star. He was just trying to be himself.” Falk noted companies currently are “trying to find the next Michael.” Falk: “The public and the kids see that and it sort of is manufactured. It’s not real. It is fun, but it’s not real.” Falk said of his initial marketing plan for Jordan being repeated for today’s athletes, “Twenty-five years later, it’s sort of like guys come out of school and want to know, Gatorade or Vitaminwater? Pepsi or Coke? Burger King or McDonalds? No one has really changed the blueprint. I’m looking for someone to come along and change the blueprint because it needs to be changed. Twenty-five years have gone by. The world has changed dramatically in 25 years. I think it’s time to have a new fresh approach to marketing.” Meanwhile, Falk also touched on the NBA’s age requirement and said he is pushing to increase the rule to keep players in college longer than the current minimum of one year. Falk: “We are about to enter March Madness. It is the single greatest advertisement for the NBA in the last 30 years. … It’s free. It costs the NBA zero. By allowing the players to bypass that system, it means that the players coming into the league are not nearly as well-known to the average fan” (, 3/22).

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