SBJ/August 12 - 18, 2002/Labor Agents

Cindrich & Co. buys into firm that represents pro bull riders

Cindrich & Co., the athlete representation firm headed by veteran NFL agent Ralph Cindrich, has acquired 50 percent of Cowboy Sports Agents, an Oklahoma City firm specializing in representing professional bull riders.

The deal follows recent announcements that CBS and NBC will broadcast bull riding events starting this fall.

Cowboy Sports Agents will become a subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based Cindrich & Co. Neither Cindrich nor Cowboy Sports Agents owner Mark Nestlen would reveal financial terms of the deal.

Cowboy Sports Agents represents about 20 professional bull riders, including Chris Shivers, winner of the 2000 Bud Light World Cup bull riding championship and the all-time money leader in the sport.

Nestlen said he and his wife, Cathy, co-owner of the agency, make money on commissions negotiating deals for the bull riders. "All of our clients are sponsored by at least two sponsors and most of them are sponsored by three or more," he said.

Nestlen said he linked up with Cindrich because of the services a larger firm can offer.

Cindrich, who began representing football players in 1977, represents about 60 NFL clients, including Denver quarterback Brian Griese, the highest-paid player in the NFL last season. Cindrich recently expanded into basketball and now has about 25 basketball players signed.

Cindrich, who said the television deals helped convince him to buy into bull riding, said he may be open to additional acquisitions.

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Denver Broncos, Labor and Agents, NFL

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