SBJ/20090921/Labor & Agents

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  • SFX Golf signs a top college player, is expected to add another

    SFX Golf is having a big year. Having signed former world No. 1 amateur Rickie Fowler for representation, the firm is now widely expected to add top amateur Cameron Tringale.

    Earlier in the year SFX signed Kyle Stanley of Clemson, who won this year’s Ben Hogan Award, given to the best college golfer in the country. Oklahoma State’s Fowler received the Hogan Award in 2008, becoming the first freshman to win it.

    Rickie Fowler turned pro after
    competing in this month’s
    Walker Cup competition.

    SFX agent Sam MacNaughton will be Fowler’s primary agent. Fowler signed an endorsement deal with Titleist for his clubs, ball, glove and bag last week, and MacNaughton said SFX is close to a deal with a sportswear company for Fowler’s headwear position.

    Fowler, who turned pro after this month’s Walker Cup competition, is a good-looking, long-haired kid who not only plays golf but rides motocross (his dad, Rod, was a motocross racer) and presents an interesting mix for sports marketers, MacNaughton said.

    “He is an edgy kid,” MacNaughton said. “He cares how he looks. He doesn’t want to look like everyone else.”

    Neither MacNaughton nor John Mascatello, CEO of SFX Golf, would comment on whether the Reston, Va.-based agency would sign Tringale, a top college player for four years at Georgia Tech.

    But Mascatello said, “It has been a spectacular year for us, obviously, with Rickie and Kyle.”

    IMG SIGNS BROADCASTERS: IMG has signed ESPN broadcaster and sideline reporter Erin Andrews, CBS college basketball studio analyst Seth Davis and ESPN broadcaster Trey Wingo for representation.

    Davis and Wingo will be repped by IMG agents Sandy Montag, Ben Stauber and Ira Stahlberg. Andrews will be repped by IMG agent Babette Perry. Davis was formerly repped by Evolution Media Talent. Wingo was formerly repped by CAA. Andrews was formerly repped by Career Sports & Entertainment.

    Career Sports vice president Mark Carmony said in a statement, “We are very proud of the fact we were able to assist Erin Andrews in furthering her career at ESPN, and deliver her several marketing opportunities. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”

     FRANCE SIGNS ANOTHER NFL VET: Agent Todd France, who has picked up several proven NFL players in recent months, has signed Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Bowe was formerly represented by Lock, Metz & Malinovic.

    “He’s obviously a phenomenal talent, and we are extremely happy about having one of the NFL’s best young wide receivers in Dwayne Bowe join our company,” said France, who represents more than 55 NFL players. His other recent NFL signings include Lawyer Milloy, Dominic Rhodes, Chris Houston, Ray Rice, Vernon Davis and Karlos Dansby.

     MAYO SIGNS WITH SMITH: As expected, Memphis guard O.J. Mayo has signed with little-known agent LaPoe “Smitty” Smith for representation, after leaving CAA for player contract work and LeBron James’ firm LRMR for marketing work.

     WMG MOURNS WERNICK: The basketball world was saddened earlier this month by the news that longtime agent Jeffrey Wernick, who was Wasserman Media Group executive vice president of basketball and the right-hand man of powerful agent Arn Tellem, died unexpectedly at his home at the age of 56.

    Wernick joined Tellem, then at the old SFX Sports, in 1999 and represented NBA players and coaches, including Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks and Mike Miller of the Washington Wizards.

     “His friends will never forget his intelligence and loyalty, which accounted for his strong ties with clients and their families,” WMG said in a statement.

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

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