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SBJ/June 16 - 22, 2003/Labor Agents
First-round fivesome leaves IMG Baseball a solid 3-for-3 in annual draft
Published June 16, 2003
IMG Baseball scored a coup earlier this month when five of its clients were selected in the first round of the MLB draft. But in what may be a more difficult feat, the agency has now represented the most first-round draft picks for three years in a row.
IMG Baseball President Casey Close said that concentrating recruiting on a small group of athletes has paid off. "We identified the right people, instead of trying to go after too many guys," Close said.
IMG represented four players in the first rounds of the 2002 and 2001 drafts.
NFL DRAFT PICKS SWITCH AGENTS: No. 3 NFL draft pick Andre Johnson fired agents
Safety Mike Doss, drafted by Indianapolis with the 26th pick of the second round, fired agents Lon Babby and Jim Tanner and signed with agents Carl and Kevin Poston. The brothers did not return phone calls.
Babby and Tanner, partners at the Williams & Connolly law firm in Washington and successful basketball agents, have recently begun a push to represent football and baseball clients.
Tanner was at a loss to explain Doss' departure.
"We had done a great job for him, particularly in the off-field marketing income, and don't have a good explanation as to what prompted him to make the switch," he said. "I don't think we will be discouraged by this and will continue to try to find the right type of client in football as we have done in basketball and more recently baseball."
TANZER SIGNS GWYNN: Anthony Gwynn Jr., son of former San Diego Padres great Tony Gwynn and the second pick in the second round of this year's MLB draft, hired Tommy Tanzer as his adviser.
Tanzer said that he believes Gwynn chose him, rather than his father's longtime agent, John Boggs, because he is trying to develop his own identity.
"With each step Anthony is taking, he is trying to be his own man, and really is his own man, including with his style of playing," Tanzer said.
Tanzer also represents three first-round draft picks.
IMG STARTS INTERNAL NEWSLETTER: IMG has started an internal newsletter called "Did You Know?"
Among the items listed in the inaugural issue: Tiger Woods is being featured in ads for Tag Heuer watches, and IMG now represents the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The newsletter comes in the wake of the death of founder and chairman Mark McCormack in May.
A senior IMG executive said, "We have always had regular communication with our employees ... and with Mark's passing we wanted to make sure they continue to be aware of the many good things that are happening at the company."
IF SIGNS MACLEAN: If Management Inc., a New York firm that specializes in representing retired athletes and coaches, signed former NBA player and current UCLA radio analyst Don Maclean for broadcasting representation. Agents Steve Herz and Phil Hogan Jr. will represent Maclean.
ALOHA TO ONE STEINBERG DEAL: The University of Hawaii athletic department said it would take its marketing rights in house after a contract with agent Leigh Steinberg expires at the end of this month.
The original contract was signed in 2000 and was renewed the last two years. A separate, five-year consulting deal with Steinberg, in its third year, will continue, the university said.
Steinberg said in a statement: "The intention was always to build a successful program and then hand over the reins to the athletic department."
Contact Liz Mullen at email@example.com with labor and agent news.