SBJ/October 1 - 7, 2001/Labor Agents

Martin fires agent Fegan (again) and signs with former employee

No. 1 2000 NBA draft pick Kenyon Martin, who fired Dan Fegan as his agent earlier this year only to rehire him a week later, has fired him again.

Martin has signed with agent Brian Dyke, who formerly worked for Fegan but is now suing him.

Fegan and Dyke did not return telephone calls. Assante Corp., which bought Fegan's firm last year, had no comment.

Dyke's attorney, Jeffrey Winikow, said his client was representing Martin. "He is an active sports agent. He is representing players, and to my understanding quite well," Winikow said, declining further comment.

No court date has been set and no settlement reached in the lawsuit Dyke filed against Fegan and Assante earlier this year. Dyke alleged that Fegan reneged on promises to pay Dyke $200,000 and make him a partner when Fegan sold his firm to Assante Corp. Dyke stated in the lawsuit that he was instrumental in Fegan's signing of several high NBA draft picks.

Fegan has previously said that the suit is without merit.

Assante Corp. is involved in another lawsuit against NFL agent David Dunn, who left partner Leigh Steinberg and took dozens of player clients with him. In that case, Steinberg Moorad & Dunn, which is owned by Assante, filed suit against Dunn and his firm, Athletes First.

One difference between the lawsuits is that Dyke refused to sign a noncompete agreement, according to his suit, while Dunn signed an employment contract that included a noncompete clause.

OCTAGON TALKING ABOUT DEALS FOR WELLS, GLAVINE: Chicago White Sox pitcher David Wells is in preliminary talks with publishers about a book tentatively titled "An Insider's Guide to Big League Cities," said his agent, Gregg Clifton, who is also senior counsel of Octagon's baseball division.

"Having played in both leagues, he has played in every major city," Clifton said. As a result, he has lists of the best hotels, bars, clubs and knows "the best steakhouse, the best fish house in every major league city."

Although talks are in an early stage, "the concept has been well-received by several publishing houses," he said.

Meanwhile, Clifton is in more serious talks about a national endorsement deal with a pharmaceutical company for client Tom Glavine. Tom George, Octagon's senior vice president of athlete marketing, is working with Clifton on both deals.

HAMBRIC SIGNS LEONARD: Hambric Sports Management has signed former British Open champ Justin Leonard, bringing the company's total of PGA Tour clients to eight since owner Rocky Hambric hung out a shingle last year.

As part of the deal, Leonard will get a small equity stake in StandOut Sports and Entertainment, the golf corporate consulting and event promotion company owned by Hambric.

Hambric said that Leonard joins golfers Bob Tway and Charles Howell III as clients who own a piece of his consulting company, and Howell owns a small percentage of Hambric Sports Management.

"I think it's great business," Hambric said of clients owning a piece of his company. Having major golfers as owners helps in serving and recruiting corporate clients, Hambric said.

"The only people who have had problems with it are my competitors," he said.

Hambric has been a golf agent since 1977. He founded Cornerstone Sports in 1981, but then sold it to Gaylord Entertainment in 1998. He left Gaylord Sports Management in late 1999 and started Hambric Sports Management in March 2000.

Hambric Sports also represents PGA Tour players Mark Brooks, Bob Estes, Steve Flesch, Harrison Frazar and Brian Watts.

WOOLF SIGNS GOLFER: Woolf Associates has signed PGA Tour player Brett Quigley for marketing, endorsements and public relations. Woolf director of corporate golf and player relations Craig Berkel will be handling his marketing endeavors.

SFX SIGNS TENNIS PLAYER: SFX has signed Australian tennis player Andrew Ilie for endorsements and marketing deals. SFX tennis agent Colin Smeeton will represent Ilie.

SFX also has signed a two-year footwear and apparel deal for tennis player Alex Kim, who recently turned pro. Kim, a three-time All-American at Stanford, signed with SFX earlier this year.

PREMIER SIGNS SKIER: Premier Management Group, a boutique firm that specializes in representing Olympic athletes, has signed 2002 Olympic hopeful and 1999 U.S. Super G champion Jake Fiala.

Premier CEO Evan Morgenstein will handle endorsement, appearance and public relations work for Fiala.

MLS PLAYER SIGNS ENDORSEMENT DEAL: D.C. United player Bobby Convey signed a multiyear deal to endorse Kwik Goal. The deal includes catalog and print advertising. Richard Motzkin, CEO of SportsNet Marketing & Management, which represents 35 soccer players and coaches, represented Convey in the deal. Financial details were not disclosed.

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

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