SBJ/August 13 - 19, 2001/Labor Agents

Kiefer moves to Octagon

Octagon signed Nicolas Kiefer to a representation contract, corralling one of the top tennis players in Germany.

Kiefer, 24, had been represented by SFX Sports (now Clear Channel Entertainment). At SFX, Kiefer was managed by Patricio Apey, who recently left the firm, taking several of his clients with him.

"Kiefer has been around the block from a management perspective, so we are obviously flattered to some extent that he has chosen us," said Tom Ross, Octagon's head of men's tennis. Ross said there were no marketing or financial guarantees in the deal.

But Ken Meyerson, head of men's tennis at Clear Channel, said, "Their offer was clearly better than ours."

Meyerson pointed out that Clear Channel would continue to receive commissions from Kiefer's Adidas contract, his principal endorsement.

Tennis is still a top sport in Germany, even after the retirement of Boris Becker and Steffi Graf, who was an Octagon client. But the country has never fully embraced the quiet Kiefer, who reached as high as No. 4 in the world in January 2000 but had fallen last week to No. 37 on the ATP's calendar points race. His Adidas contract is thought to be his only endorsement. He plays with Wilson rackets but is not under contract.

Kiefer will be managed at Octagon by Ulf Dahlstrom, a former Adidas tennis executive, who is now based in Monte Carlo.

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