SBJ/August 19 - 25, 2002/Labor Agents

Prominent role in baseball talks is helping Glavine get deals, agent says

Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine's position as the outspoken National League representative for the MLB Players Association hasn't hurt his marketability, longtime agent Gregg Clifton said.

In fact, Clifton said, it has helped, adding that he recently signed two deals for Glavine and is in initial talks about others, as Glavine has been thrust into the spotlight during labor negotiations between the union and MLB.

"I must have had six or seven calls today, not all about [marketing] deals, but from people in business saying, 'He is really articulate. He is really well-informed on the issues,' " Clifton said.

Glavine recently agreed to be a spokesman for uniform maker Cintas Corp. in a deal that involves radio, print and direct-mail marketing in the Southeast. Glavine also has signed a deal to promote Office Depot in the Atlanta area that involves a contest promotion for fans to get baseball instruction from Glavine. The deal does not include a clause detailing what would happen in the case of a strike, Clifton said. (As of this writing, both MLB and union officials were holding out hope that a new collective-bargaining agreement could be reached and a strike averted.)

Clifton and Octagon marketing agent Brian Edmonds worked on the two deals.

Clifton, a lawyer who started working as an agent 17 years ago, has been Glavine's agent for the pitcher's entire career. Clifton moved from Woolf Associates to Octagon in November 2000, when Octagon bought Woolf's baseball division. Octagon represents 60 to 70 MLB players.

CSMG HIRES CORPORATE MARKETING EXEC: CSMG, the Skokie, Ill.-based firm that represents about 250 athletes worldwide, has continued its expansion by hiring Mike Busek to head its new corporate marketing division.

Busek, who has worked as vice president of ballpark development for the Milwaukee Brewers and director of marketing and broadcasting for the Chicago White Sox, will work to develop a corporate consulting business at CSMG.

Additionally, Busek will work with Nova Lanktree, CSMG executive vice president of marketing, to find corporate marketing opportunities for CSMG's athlete clients. CSMG acquired Lanktree Sports, which is now a division of CSMG.

OCTAGON SIGNS CHAMPION SWIMMER: Octagon has signed Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, the 2001 USA Swimmer of the Year, for representation.

Peter Carlisle, Octagon director of Olympic sports, will represent the 17-year-old, who participated in the 2000 Olympics. He is the youngest male world record holder in history, swimming the 200-meter butterfly in 1:54.92.

GAYLORD SIGNS PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER: Gaylord Sports Management has signed Craig Perks, winner of the 2002 Players Championship, to a three-year deal for representation.

Perks, a native of New Zealand, played golf at the University of Oklahoma under coach David Yates, who is now executive vice president and chief operating officer of Gaylord.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Gaylord represents 35 professional golfers on seven pro tours, including Phil Mickelson, ranked No. 2 in the world.

IMG FOOTBALL PROMOTES WILLS: IMG Football has promoted agent Darrel Wills to director of football operations, Southeast Division, where he will concentrate on recruiting football players from the big college football states of Georgia and Florida.

In the past two years, universities in Florida and Georgia produced 18 players picked in the first round of the NFL draft, IMG officials noted.

IMG Football President Tom Condon said Wills has been working out of Tallahassee, Fla., since 2000 and his promotion makes formal the emphasis the company is placing on the Southeast in NFL recruiting.

In the last four drafts, IMG has represented 16 first-round picks, more than any other company. 

BARBER CLIPPINGS: New York Giants running back Tiki Barber has filmed one national commercial for the Reebok V3 cross-training shoe and will be involved in other advertising, including in-store point-of-sale promotions and radio spots, said Mark Lepselter, Barber's agent.

Lepselter, president of Maxximum Marketing, signed Barber and his brother Ronde Barber, cornerback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to new multiyear deals with Reebok. Both formerly were with Nike.

"They are both going to be featured on a poster on 125th Street in Manhattan and they will both be utilized thorough the year for marketing purposes," said Lepselter, who represents the twin brothers for marketing.

Agent Ethan Lock of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Lock Metz & Malinovic Sports Management represents the Barbers for contract negotiation.

EVOLVE ADDS ATHLETES: Evolve Sports Management, a San Francisco firm that specializes in representing action sports and endurance athletes, has signed triathletes Julie Moss and Chris Lieto.

Evolve, headed by lawyer Keir Beadling, also signed the members of the Team Earthlink Adventure Racing, which is set to compete in the Eco-Challenge this October in Fiji. Team EarthLink features top adventure racers Jason Middleton, Robyn Benincasa, Isaac Wilson and Roman Dial.

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

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