SBJ/December 3 - 9, 2001/Labor Agents

Schilling’s baseball-video game deal includes pitch for favorite charity

World Series co-MVP Curt Schilling has agreed to become the spokesman for a new baseball video game in an unusual deal that will promote the Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher's longtime charity.

All the endorsement proceeds for High Heat Major League Baseball 2003, which will be out next spring, will go to Schilling's cause of fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an ailment better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Each video game box will contain a card with information about the disease and contact information for groups fighting it.

"The most attractive thing about this deal is for every box sold, they are donating a percentage to Curt's charity," said Eric Burak, marketing director at Beverly Hills Sports Council, which represents Schilling. Since 1992, Schilling has raised more than $1 million for ALS patient care as well as efforts to find a cure for the deadly disease.

Ross Borden, senior brand manager for the game, which is manufactured by Redwood City, Calif.-based 3DO Co., declined to reveal financial details of the deal but said if sales hit projections, "it comes out to a nice figure."

Previous versions of "High Heat" have won awards from gaming industry publications.

Although marketing details still were being completed, Schilling is expected to appear in some print, television, Internet and possibly radio advertising, and to be pictured on the game's box.

"We pitched the idea to him," Borden said. Before signing the deal with Schilling, 3DO officials researched the pitcher and found out about his devotion to the charity — which has been chronicled in several publications, including a November issue of People magazine — and his enthusiasm for video games.

Since the World Series there has been a lot of corporate interest in Schilling, including discussions with book publishers, Burak said. Schilling's contract agent at Beverly Hills Sports Council is Jeff Borris.

OCTAGON PROMOTES McGEE, SCHWAB: Longtime Octagon agent and marketing executive Patrick McGee and David Schwab, the company's public relations director, have been promoted to head the athlete marketing division for the company.

The promotions were made in the wake of the departure of industry veteran Tom George, who left Octagon about a month ago to become the athletic director for American University.

"Tom was terrific, and he had been with us since the beginning," said Phil de Picciotto, president of Octagon. George was one of the founding employees of Advantage, Octagon's predecessor company, which started up in the early 1980s. When George left, de Picciotto did not look outside for a replacement but selected McGee, who has worked for the company for almost 14 years, including as a tennis and football agent. More recently, McGee worked on athlete marketing deals, including Octagon client Anna Kournikova's marketing partnership with Lycos.

Also, since George left, de Picciotto decided to merge the public relations and athlete marketing departments and created a new position for Schwab. During the past 18 months, Octagon has grown its athlete representation business significantly, through acquisitions of hockey, baseball, football and NFL coach representation practices.

Schwab recently worked on a deal involving African-American NFL coaches Dennis Green, Tony Dungy and Herman Edwards promoting Martin Luther King Day. The radio and television commercials "are fantastic," Schwab said, adding that the project gave the coaches a chance to speak for an ideal they believe in.

All three coaches became Octagon clients through the company's acquisition of veteran agent Ray Anderson's practice last month.

McGee said he and Schwab will work on finding ways to take advantage of cooperation between Octagon and other companies owned by parent corporation Interpublic Group. Interpublic is the world's largest advertising and marketing company and owns ad agencies McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Foote Cone & Belding and public relations firm Weber Shandwick Worldwide.

AMG SIGNS STACKHOUSE, STRICKLAND: AMG Sports has signed NBA players Jerry Stackhouse and Erick Strickland for contract negotiation and marketing representation.

AMG Sports head Jeff Schwartz and AMG basketball agent Raymond Brothers will manage Stackhouse's and Strickland's careers. AMG represents about a dozen NBA players, including Jason Kidd, Lamar Odom, Tyson Chandler and Paul Pierce.

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

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