SBJ/February 25 - March 3, 2002/Labor Agents

Comeback from transplant makes boarder's bronze tale look golden

Editor's note: The second paragraph of this story is revised from the print edition.

Octagon agent Peter Carlisle says client Chris Klug's personal story makes his bronze medal as good as gold.

Carlisle, Octagon's director of Olympic and extreme sports, signed a multiyear deal for Klug to endorse Saturn automobiles soon after Klug won the bronze medal for alpine snowboarding.

Chris Klug signed a deal to endorse Saturn, Octagon's Peter Carlisle says.

Klug, who had a successful liver transplant in 2000, suffered from sclerosing cholangitis, the same disease that killed NFL great Walter Payton.

The details of the Taurus deal are still being worked out, but Carlisle is hopeful that it will include some national promotions.

Carlisle said he is talking to a lengthy list of potential advertisers for three other clients who won Olympic medals: women's halfpipe gold medal winner Kelly Clark and men's halfpipe gold medalist Ross Powers and silver medalist Danny Kass.

Among the potential suitors are companies in the automotive, telephone, beverage and video game categories.

Carlisle said the success of his athletes at the Olympics justified a decision he made about five years ago, when he was head of his own company, Carlisle Sports Management, to focus on extreme-sports athlete management. Last year, Carlisle sold his company to Octagon. He wouldn't say whether the medal performances of his clients have increased the value of that sale, but agency acquisition deals typically include clauses that reward the seller based on the performance of the company.

Carlisle said he had believed that Americans would do well in snowboarding events, and thought that success would change the public's view of snowboarding in particular, and alternative sports in general.

In Salt Lake last week he said, "Fifty-year-olds are coming up to [my clients] and they all know their names."

ROSENHAUS SIGNS TWO: NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus signed University of Florida wide receiver Jabar Gaffney and University of Miami tight end Jeremy Shockey, both projected first round 2002 NFL draft picks, for representation.

Rosenhaus called the two players "very marketable" and "big play makers."

Rosenhaus signed Shockey after he appeared at a press conference with former Jacksonville Jaguars senior vice president and current NFL agent Michael Huyghue in January. Huyghue told SportsBusiness Journal in January that he had signed Shockey and his Miami teammate, cornerback Phillip Buchanon, who also appeared at the press conference.

Lucinda Shockey, Jeremy Shockey's mother, said her son never signed with Huyghue.

It was not clear last week who represented Buchanon. Huyghue and agent David Ware both filed standard representation agreements for him with the NFL Players Association in late January, according to an NFLPA source. The player will have to tell the union who represents him, this source said.

Huyghue and Ware did not return telephone calls.

RLR SIGNS STRAHAN: RLR Associates has signed NFL defensive player of the year Michael Strahan to an exclusive marketing representation deal.

RLR is in talks with a cellular phone company about a regional deal for the New York Giants defensive end, said RLR agent Greg Friedlander. The company also is talking to memorabilia companies about a special deal to commemorate Strahan's breaking the single-season sack record with 221¼2 sacks last year.

Strahan hired RLR after receiving 36 voice-mail messages the day after he was named defensive player of the year, Friedlander said. RLR agents had worked with Strahan before on personal appearances.

RLR focuses mainly on sports broadcasters and broadcast deals and plans to limit the number of marketing clients it takes on, Friedlander said.

Maury Gostfrand will be Strahan's primary agent at RLR. His contract work continues to be handled by Anthony Agnone of Eastern Athletic Services.

CSMG ACQUIRES LANKTREE: CSMG Inc., a sports management firm with about 200 athlete clients, has acquired Lanktree Sports, a sports marketing firm headed by Nova Lanktree.

Lanktree, who specializes in placing athletes with advertisers, has become CSMG's executive vice president of marketing. Lanktree Sports will maintain its brand name, becoming a division of CSMG.

Lanktree, who will place CSMG and other sports agencies' clients in advertising, has moved her offices from Chicago to CSMG's headquarters in Skokie, Ill.

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

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