SBJ/March 10 - 16, 2003/Labor Agents

Carlisle: ‘Before I sign a 6-year-old, I am going to think it through’

Mitchie Brusco is only 6 years old, but the skateboarding prodigy already has a signature skateboard deal and is in talks with Lego about another endorsement agreement.

Mitchie also has Peter Carlisle, agent to gold-medal-winning snowboarders Ross Powers and Kelly Clark, looking out for his interests.

Carlisle, director of Octagon's Olympic and action sports division, has begun acting as an adviser to the Brusco family to help handle an increasing number of media and marketing calls.

"I do not have a contract with this kid," Carlisle said. "Before I sign a 6-year-old, I am going to think it through."

Carlisle has helped the Brusco family with a signature deal with Termite Skateboards and is in talks with Lego for a deal to have Mitchie endorse one of the company's new extreme-sports play sets. Carlisle has been helping the Brusco family for about two years, and doing it gratis.

Eventually, Carlisle hopes to sign Mitchie to a contract and charge him commission, but he is not sure when that will be.

In the fast-evolving world of alternative sports, where marketers are looking for the next new thing, more and more agents may be faced with the dilemma of whether to sign clients who are still in elementary school.

As previously reported in this space, Carlisle signed Luke Mitrani, a 12-year-old snowboarder who already had a Mountain Dew deal, late last year. Carlisle is also in talks with Lego about an endorsement deal for Luke.

Carlisle told SportsBusiness Journal that he originally had reservations about signing Luke, but did it because his family was getting calls from companies and agents.

Mitchie Brusco’s career is taking off, with or without an agent, Peter Carlisle says.
The story is the same for Mitchie, who has been featured in newspapers and magazines and on "The Today Show."

Carlisle said Mitchie's family contacted him soon after Mitchie started skateboarding when he was 3. For the last couple of years, companies have been sending contracts to his home. "The reality is, he is going to do business, even though he is 6 years old," Carlisle said.

If Mitchie is doing business, it is better that he has an adviser to look at contracts, Carlise said. As alternative sports have taken off in the last decade, "I have seen so many kids taken advantage of," Carlisle said.

Carlisle said he has seen companies sign athletes to what they thought were short-term contracts but that contained clauses that "tie the athlete up forever."

"I have seen a company actually retain rights to the athlete to assign to another company," he said.

LMM SIGNS GROSS: LMM Management, the company co-owned by football agents Ethan Lock, Vance Malinovic and Eric Metz, has signed top NFL draft prospect Jordan Gross, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound offensive tackle from the University of Utah.

The agents have hired former head coach and renowned offensive line coach Joe Bugle to train Gross in preparation for the draft, Metz said. Bugle thinks Gross is "one of the finest offensive line prospects he has seen in 25 years," Metz said.

Personal workouts for interested NFL teams were set for today at Utah.

MID-SOUTH SIGNS NFL PROSPECTS: Brian Parker of Memphis-based Mid-South Sports Management signed University of Memphis offensive tackle Wade Smith and Central Arkansas long snapper Patrick Smith for representation in the coming NFL draft.

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

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