SBJ/August 13 - 19, 2001/Labor Agents

Golfer Faxon signs with Woolf for representation and to be consultant

Woolf Associates signed an unusual deal with PGA Tour member Brad Faxon in which the golfer will not only be represented by the firm but also work in the company for the golf corporate consulting division.

Faxon, who has aspirations to work in the business side of sports, has become a managing director of Woolf and will work for the corporate golf division as part of the five-year deal, said Kevin Murphy, CEO of the firm. Murphy would not reveal financial details of Faxon's agreement but said it does not include an equity interest in Woolf.

Under the terms of the arrangement, Faxon will work at Woolf 15 to 20 days a year, at first, and will increase his work days at the agency over time, Murphy said. "It comes down to him helping us through his contacts" to help the golf consulting business, Murphy said.

Faxon, 40, plans to continue on the PGA Tour for a while but is looking toward another career after golf, Murphy said.

Faxon may make calls to golfers who are thinking about joining Woolf, but there will be a "firewall" between him and the negotiations of other Woolf golfer clients' endorsement deals, Murphy said.

Woolf represents seven professional golfers, including PGA Tour player Billy Andrade, players on the European Tour and Buy.com Tour, and other PGA Tour players. Murphy said those golfers have been told that Faxon will be joining the company.

"Certainly the first question they asked is, 'Is he going to be negotiating my deals?' " Murphy said of existing golfer clients. "My commitment to them is, 'He will not know what your deals are.' "

Woolf Golf agents Dan Weinberg and Craig Berkel will represent Faxon in his golf career, including endorsements. Faxon is a native of Rhode Island, which fits Boston-based Woolf's strategy of focusing on athletes, companies and events with ties to New England.

 STRINGER'S FAMILY TO RECEIVE BENEFITS: The family of Minnesota Vikings player Korey Stringer, who died of heat stroke earlier this month after a team practice, will get benefits through the NFL Players Association.

Stringer's family will receive his full 2001 salary, which was reported to be $500,000, as well as half a year's salary for 2002 as part of the collective-bargaining agreement, said Miki Yaras-Davis, NFLPA director of benefits.

Additionally, Stringer's family will receive a $300,000 life insurance policy and a $125,000 annuity payout through the union, Yaras-Davis said. Widow's benefits, created by the union in the 1950s, will pay Stringer's widow, Kelci, $3,000 a month for 48 months and $1,200 a month thereafter, Yaras-Davis said.

In addition, the NFLPA has created a trust fund for Stringer's child, Kodie. Those wishing to donate to the fund may send donations to: Korey Stringer Trust Fund, c/o National Football League Players Association, 2021 L St., NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20036.

  SFX TENNIS DEALS: SFX Tennis clients Andy Roddick and Jan-Michael Gambill have signed a two-year deal to endorse Gallery Furniture, which is owned by Jim McIngvale, an entrepreneur who uses sports properties to market his business. As part of the deal, which industry sources speculate is in the six figures, Roddick and Gambill will play in the U.S. Clay Court Championships, which are held at McIngvale's West Side Tennis Club in Houston.

The deal also gives Gallery Furniture the right to use the two players' likenesses in advertising and includes appearances by the players, said SFX Tennis chief Ken Meyerson.

SFX Tennis has also signed a three-year footwear and apparel deal for client Guillermo Canas to endorse Italian company Ellesse. That deal is said to be in the low six figures.

  BAKER BACK WITH PAC BELL: Dusty Baker has renewed a one-year agreement to endorse Pacific Bell for another year. Talent Link, a division of The Marketing Arm, represented Pacific Bell in the deal. Baker was represented by business manager Steve Skelly.

Darrin Perry, director of Talent Link, said no advertising was including in the deal. Baker will make appearances and participate in client entertainment events, such as fantasy batting practice events for Pacific Bell clients and key customers.

  U.S. OPEN TALK: Artists Management Group has signed sports broadcast client Chris Myers to a deal to announce the U.S. Open on USA Network. AMG client Summer Sanders is in talks to be a sideline reporter at the event, sources said. Myers and Sanders are represented by AMG managers Alan Berger and Jill Smoller, respectively.

  OCTAGON SIGNS KIEFER: Octagon has signed top German tennis player Nicolas Kiefer. Senior tennis agent Ulf Dahlstrom will handle Kiefer's career.

Contact Liz Mullen with agent and labor news at lmullen@amcity.com.

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