SBJ/June 18 - 24, 2001/Labor AgentsPrint All
Colorado Rockies third baseman Jeff Cirillo has become the latest athlete with his own brand food: the Señor Cirillo Burrito, to be launched next month in the Denver area by Flutie Flakes creator PLB Sports.
PLB Sports contacted baseball boutique agency Beverly Hills Sports Council, which represents Cirillo, about the product, said Eric Burak, marketing director for the agency and the man who did the burrito deal.
Burak would not reveal financial details, other than that Cirillo will get a percentage of the proceeds, as will his charity of choice, the Denver Children's Hospital.
Ty Ballou, president of PLB Sports, said the Cirillo deal represents the 34th or 35th deal the company has signed with an athlete. The company gets calls from about a half dozen agents a week and is exploring about 10 new deals.
In addition to the Cirillo burrito, the company plans to launch Super Charged Flutie Flakes in Southern California in the next few weeks to mark quarterback Doug Flutie's new status as a San Diego Charger. Kim Zayotti, senior director of athlete marketing at Woolf Associates, represented Flutie in negotiating a new three-year deal with PLB Sports.
PLB Sports has sold 2.3 million boxes of Flutie Flakes since the cereal was introduced in fall 1998, Ballou said. The Flutie success was a turning point for the company, which was founded eight years ago, he said.
The private company struggled the first four years but has been solidly profitable for the last four, Ballou said. And although Ballou can't always get agents to agree to a deal, he usually can get them on the phone.
"It wasn't really that long ago that I was begging agents to call me back," Ballou recalled.
ROOKIE SEMINARS FOR BOXERS: Unlike athletes in the major team sports, boxers don't have a players association to look after them. Stories of boxers ending up broke after long and lucrative careers have been all too common throughout the years.
Boxing promoter Main Events last month launched what is believed to be the first ever "rookie" seminar for boxers who have recently turned professional.
Main Events boxers, including five 2000 Olympians who recently signed contracts with the East Rutherford, N.J.-based company, listened to a seminar given by a Seton Hall University professor on public relations and media training.
Main Events is working with professors at Seton Hall to provide the seminars, which will include topics such as "Selecting and Evaluating Investment Advisers," "Basic Banking and Investing" and "Proper Legal Responses to Civil Actions and Criminal Accusations."
The Olympians range in age from 17 to 23. "They all turned pro earlier this year, and they all are making significant money," said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events.
Duva said some in the boxing industry questioned whether she was serious when she first set up the lectures.
But a number of Main Events boxers, as well as other boxers and some trainers working on the undercard of the May 20 middleweight championship fight between Antwun Echols and Charles Brewer in Connecticut, showed up for the seminar. (They were taught things like show up on time for press interviews and don't bring your cell phone.)
Main Events is paying Seton Hall to put on the seminars, which are provided free to Main Events boxers. "We are a service company," Duva said. "And this is another service we offer."
RLR GETS 2 DEALS FOR SCHLERETH: RLR Associates, which signed recently retired Denver Broncos offensive lineman Mark Schlereth for broadcast career representation after an RLR agent saw a special on him on HBO, has lined up two new jobs for the former player.
Schlereth has signed with ESPN to serve as a football analyst, primarily assigned to "NFL2Night" on ESPN2, and will be a regular contributor to espn.com. Additionally, he will co-host a radio talk show on KTLK-AM in Denver.
Both deals were negotiated by Maury Gostfrand of RLR and both are believed to be worth six figures.
AGENTS TO SPONSOR TEAMS: A number of basketball agents will sponsor teams in this year's Summer Pro League to be held at California State University at Long Beach. Agents who had been selected as of last week were Arn Tellem, Warren LeGarie, Fred Slaughter, Dan Fegan, Joedy Gardner, Darren Matsubara, Rob Carrol, Sean Waters, Charles Bonsignore and Mike Moore, said Marni Colbert, director of operations for the league.
Tellem will have his own team as well as a team with his former partner, LeGarie. A committee was working last week to pick the last two agents from the remaining seven or so who applied to sponsor teams, Colbert said.
The SPL, owned by John Younesi, runs five games a day, seven days a week, July 7-29.
The Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle SuperSonics and Vancouver Grizzlies also are expected to sponsor teams.
If you have agent or labor news, contact Liz Mullen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SFX Sports baseball agent David Schwartz has left the company to start his own practice, taking two clients with him — Chicago Cubs outfielder prospect Corey Patterson and Philadelphia Phillies catcher Johnny Estrada.
Schwartz had been working for Chicago-based Speakers of Sport, which was acquired by SFX in February 2000. SFX recently fired baseball agents Jim Bronner and Bob Gilhooley, who had been the majority owners of Speakers of Sport. SFX fired the two agents after they filed a $60 million lawsuit against the company, alleging that SFX omitted the fact that it planned to sell itself to Clear Channel Communications Inc. when it bought their firm.
It was not clear what, if any, connection Bronner's and Gilhooley's firing has with Schwartz's departure. Schwartz declined comment.
An SFX spokesman confirmed that Schwartz had left and took the two young players. The company had no other comment. Patterson made his major league debut last year and is considered one of baseball's budding stars. Estrada played his first major league game last month.