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SBJ/July 8 - 14, 2002/Labor Agents
Fresh off huge NBA draft, Duffy working on a Hollywood alliance
Published July 8, 2002
Red-hot basketball agent Bill Duffy, who represents five players taken in the first round of last month's NBA draft, is in talks with a Hollywood management company about forming a strategic alliance with his BDA Sports Management. Duffy wouldn't name the company but indicated that a deal was near. "It's just a matter of crossing the t's and dotting the i's," he said.
Duffy said he has had talks with several companies about selling his Walnut Creek, Calif.-based firm, but he decided on a strategic alliance because it will offer his clients the benefits of being with a larger company while allowing him to maintain a high level of independence. BDA represents about 25 NBA clients and 30 basketball players overseas.
"I don't think you can ever be successful with being [part of] a huge corporation where you lose your interaction with the clients," Duffy said.
Duffy represents No. 2 pick Jay Williams, No. 4 pick Drew Gooden, No. 14 pick Fred Jones, No. 20 pick Kareem Rush and No. 23 pick Tayshaun Prince.
TELLEM PLEASED WITH FIVE: SFX Basketball chief Arn Tellem said he's pleased that the company represented five players in the first round of this year's NBA draft, even though that was half the firm's tally from last year.
SFX Basketball represented 10 first-round players in the 2001 draft, a feat believed to be unequaled by any company in any team sports draft. In the 2000 NBA draft, SFX represented nine first-round picks.
Representing that many players "is like winning the Grand Slam in golf or tennis," Tellem said. "Those things don't happen very often, and I never expected that we would be doing that every year."
Meanwhile, Tellem said he has no plans to leave SFX, despite a report by Sports Illustrated that he has a clock in his office that counts backwards from the day in 1999 when he sold his firm to the day his contract ends.
"It was a gift to me from [Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner] Jerry Reinsdorf," Tellem said. "It's more of a joke. I have no plans on stopping work. I have no plans on leaving SFX."
In fact, he said, he plans on having at least one, if not all, of his sons, now ages 10, 14 and 17, work for him as agents. David Falk, SFX Basketball founder, also has a daughter in college whom he says he wants to work at SFX as an agent.
"Maybe we can have an arranged marriage," Tellem quipped.
Curt Schillings Curt Cam will take in the All-Star festivities for foxsports.com.
SCHILLING SIGNS CURT CAM DEAL: Arizona Diamondbacks ace pitcher Curt Schilling signed a deal with foxsports.com to carry a video camera during MLB All-Star festivities this week to be broadcast on the Internet, and possibly on air.
"We all came up with the catchy title of 'Curt Cam,' " said Eric Burak, director of marketing at Beverly Hills Sports Council, who worked on the deal for Schilling. Burak would not reveal how much Schilling is being paid for the gig, but said all proceeds are going to the charity Curt's Pitch for ALS, which benefits efforts to battle amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Schilling took his camera along during the 1999 and 2001 All-Star Games and gave the footage to Fox Sports, Burak said. "Portions of Curt Cam aired last year on a Fox Game of the Week after the All-Star Game," he said.
BARBER BROTHERS SIGN DEALS: NFL players and brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber have both recently signed deals that will continue to grow their budding broadcast careers, said Mark Lepselter, marketing agent for both players.
Tiki Barber, a running back for the New York Giants who already has a show on the YES Network, signed a deal for a weekly show on ESPN Radio affiliate WEVD-AM in New York during the NFL season, said Lepselter, president of Maxximum Marketing. He formerly had an in-season show on New York's WFAN-AM.
Ronde Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back, signed to host a weekly television show during the NFL season on WFLA in Tampa, as well as a weekly radio show on WQYK-AM in Tampa.
Tiki Barber also renewed a deal to be the spokesman for Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery, a growing chain of restaurants in the New York area. A source said that deal is worth $250,000 over two years.
He signed a deal to be the spokesman for the New Jersey anti-smoking movement, Lepselter said.
Contact Liz Mullen at firstname.lastname@example.org with labor and agent news, including athlete deals and signings.