SBJ/October 27 - November 2, 2003/Labor Agents

Growing Familie: Agency adds Action Sports Management reps, clients

The Familie, a division of Wasserman Media Group, has hired the principal athlete managers from Action Sports Management and gained 22 new action sports athlete clients.

Todd Hahn, who specializes in representing skateboarders and snowboarders; Jimmy Button, who represents motocross racers; and Bob Walker, who specializes in corporate consulting work, all have joined Carlsbad, Calif.-based The Familie.

Casey Wasserman, who bought The Familie earlier this year, said he hired the principals of Phoenix-based Action Sports Management but did not acquire the firm. He would not reveal any other details of the hirings.

Former Action Sports Management clients who will be joining The Familie include Olympic bronze-medal-winning snowboarder J.J. Thomas, X Games gold-medal-winning skateboarder Kerry Getz, motocross champion Tommy Clowers, Gravity Games freestyle motocross gold-medal winner Nate Adams and supercross racer Ernesto Fonseca.

Wasserman
The addition of the former Action Sports Management clients, along with three new signings, brings the number of action sports athlete clients with The Familie to just over 50, said CEO Steve Astephen.

The Familie recently has signed three promising young athletes for representation: snowboarder Ross Baker, 13; supercross racer Josh Lichtle, 16; and street bike racer Tony Meiring, 18.

The goal of adding the Action Sports Management agents and clients is to be able to offer companies one-stop shopping in the action sports arena, Astephen said.

"We are trying to consolidate all the confusion out there," Astephen said. "This is a very unorganized industry."

The addition of the two experienced action sports managers will allow the company to continue to sign up-and-coming athletes while still serving the existing client base, Astephen said.

Said Hahn: "I think bringing the Familie and [Action Sports Management] together ... is going to bring some cohesiveness to the fragmented action sports market."

WILLIAM MORRIS SIGNS JOHNSON: William Morris signed retired track and field Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson for representation in broadcasting and commercial endorsements.

"We are certainly out in the marketplace talking to a number of companies about Olympic campaigns," said William Morris manager Jill Smoller, who will serve as Johnson's primary agent.

"One of the areas Michael wants to break into is exploring opportunities in the more entertainment broadcast world, possibly hosting specials and reality programming."

Johnson will continue to have a relationship with IMG. An IMG spokeswoman said, "IMG has long represented Michael Johnson and continues to do so. It's not unusual for someone to want to see if they can branch into other areas."

EVOLVE SIGNS SPEEDSKATER: Evolve Sports LLC signed speedskating Olympic hopeful and aspiring model Roxanne Kirkpatrick to an exclusive, multiyear representation deal.

Kirkpatrick, 20, is a graduate of the U.S. Junior Olympic Speedskating team who is trying to make the Sprint World Cup Team and eventually medal in the Olympics.

"Roxanne is an exceptional young woman with an array of talents and interests," said Evolve President Doug Epstein, in a statement. "We intend to bring her unique story to the attention of corporate America and to the American public at large."

Evolve was founded in San Francisco in 2001 and represents professional emerging sports athletes and events.

BORAS SIGNS CABRERA: Baseball agent Scott Boras has signed Florida Marlins slugger Miguel Cabrera for representation.

Cabrera was formerly represented by Reich, Katz and Landis.

GILL SIGNS ZARDO: Montreal-based Gill Sports Management signed Canadian national bobsled team member Giulio Zardo for representation in marketing.

Agents Darren Gill and Jon Kronemeyer will represent Zardo.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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