SBJ/May 19 - 25, 2003/Labor Agents

Scouting the school-yard set, IMS signs 10-year-old skateboarder

Among the new clients signed by IMS, an agency that specializes in representing action sports athletes, is 10-year-old skateboarder Alexis Schemmp.

Circe Wallace-Hetzel, senior athlete manager at IMS, said Alexis may help fill a growing appetite from corporations for younger action sports athletes.

"We get calls all the time for commercial casting for various products," Wallace-Hetzel said. "They are looking for people in the 'tween' ages, the 7 to 13 age group. They say it's one of the biggest emerging consumer demographics."

As previously reported in this space, Octagon's director of Olympic and action sports, Peter Carlisle, signed 12-year-old snowboarder Luke Mitrani and acts as an adviser to 6-year-old skateboarder Mitchie Brusco. Carlisle said he only agreed to take on the youngsters as clients because they were already being approached by agents and companies.

Alexis

The story is the same with Alexis, who has an apparel deal with Roxy, a division of Quiksilver, one of the world's leading action sports apparel manufacturers. IMS is also in talks with Mattel and Mall of America about possible deals for the 10-year-old San Diego resident, who skates in the California Amateur Skateboarding League.

"Her mom sought me out because she was getting approached by a lot of people," Wallace-Hetzel said. "I am not actively looking to sign 10-year-olds."

In addition to Alexis, IMS has signed 18-year-old snowboarder Jimi Tomer; 18-year-old skateboarder Paul Rodriguez, son of the comedian with the same name; and Rochelle Ballard, named female surfer of the year in each of the last three years by Surfer magazine.

The athletes are represented by agents Wallace-Hetzel, Nadia Guerriero and Linnea Gibson.

WORKING MOM FAWCETT GETS NEW DEALS: WUSA players were forced to take major pay cuts this year, but San Diego Spirit player Joy Fawcett is capitalizing off the field on her status as a working mom.

Fawcett has signed deals recently with Whirlpool, the National Milk Processors Promotion Board (which is responsible for the Got Milk? campaign) and Full90, a company that makes protective soccer headgear.

In each case, the endorsement will feature Fawcett being a mother, said Dan Levy, an Octagon agent who represents Fawcett. Fawcett, 32, is the only mother on the U.S. women's team.

"You have millions of kids playing soccer and companies wanting to market to these moms," Levy said.

Levy wouldn't reveal the value of Fawcett's deals, but said that combined they are well into six figures.

BDA SIGNS ANTHONY: BDA Sports Management is representing 6-foot-8 Syracuse forward Carmelo Anthony, who is projected to be one of the top players picked in this year's NBA draft.

Anthony, ranked as the No. 3 overall pick by mock draft Web site nbadraft.net, will be represented by BDA Sports agent Calvin Andrews.

LAMMI SIGNS DRIVER: Lammi Sports Management signed Pro Bowl wide receiver Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers for marketing work.

"I think Donald Driver is going to be very marketable because he is a great player and has an infectious smile and a great story behind him," said Brian Lammi, CEO of the Milwaukee-based sports marketing and management firm.

Driver's poverty-stricken youth has been chronicled by a number of publications, including Sports Illustrated. His life was changed by an elderly woman whose car he hit when he was running from police, and by his grandmother, according to Sports Illustrated. The two women helped him straighten out his life.

Lammi noted another characteristic that could snag Driver some endorsements. "He also has a great nickname of 'Quickie,' and there is a lot we can do with that," Lammi said.

GAYLORD SIGNS SLOCUM: Gaylord Sports Management's newest agent, former Ping Tour director of player relations Cricket Musch, has signed his first client, PGA Tour player Heath Slocum.

Please contact Liz Mullen with agent and labor news, tips and anecdotes at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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