SBJ/July 2-8, 2012/Labor and Agents

Legacy Agency signs leading PGA Tour rookie John Huh

Liz Mullen
The Legacy Agency is in talks with several Korean companies, including Hyundai, Kia, Samsung and Shinhan Bank, about its new client, Korean-American golfer John Huh.

Huh, 22, was No. 15 on the PGA Tour money list last week, leading all rookies.

“He is going to be Rookie of the Year,” predicted Andrew Witlieb, a principal of The Legacy Agency and head of its golf division.

Huh’s success on the tour was “a bit of a surprise,” Witlieb said, adding that Huh’s only current endorsement is a one-year deal with Ping Golf.

Huh is the only rookie to win on the tour this year and was 15th on the money list last week.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
The PGA Tour Rookie of the Year is determined at the end of the year by a vote of PGA Tour members. As of last week, Huh was the only rookie to have won a PGA Tour event, the Mayakoba Golf Classic, and had four top-10 finishes, including tying for second at the Valero Texas Open.

“He is a wide-open slate,” Witlieb said of Huh’s endorsement portfolio. “He played in Korea before he played on the PGA Tour, so he really has crossover appeal.”

Additionally, The Legacy Agency signed PGA Tour golfer and former U.S. Ryder Cup team member Jeff Overton. Witlieb represents both players.

Overton, 29, who turned pro in 2005, was No. 64 on the PGA Tour money list last week. He has deals with Titleist for his golf ball, Cleveland Golf for his equipment (in a deal that includes the Cleveland Golf logo on his hat) and Under Armour for his apparel, Witlieb said.

Huh was formerly represented by Lagardère Unlimited. Overton was formerly represented by agent Perry Rogers.

LAGARDÈRE SIGNS MIERNICKI, NIKE DEAL: Lagardère Unlimited has signed All-American golfer Daniel Miernicki from the University of Oregon and secured a deal for him with Nike. Lagardère agent Ben Harrison represents Miernicki and negotiated his deal to wear Nike apparel and play Nike Golf equipment.

HAMBRIC SIGNS KOEPKA: Veteran golf agent Rocky Hambric has signed Florida State University golfer and four-time All-American Brooks Koepka for representation. “He is one of the new breed of players who are very athletic, and he is a very good hitter,” said Hambric, founder of Dallas-based Hambric Sports Management. Hambric said he beat out four major golf representation firms for Koepka.

NFL DRAFT PICKS STILL UNSIGNED: As of early last week, 14 first-round and 14 third-round NFL draft picks still had not signed with the clubs that selected them, including No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck.
Will Wilson, Luck’s agent at Wasserman Media Group, did not return a phone call.

As previously reported here (SportsBusiness Journal, June 18-24 issue), most of the first-round picks who had not signed were arguing over “offset language” in the contracts. That provision speaks to the amount of money a player would be paid if he were to be cut by his original team and picked up by a second team.

In the case of the third-round picks, the holdups are generally said to be regarding disagreements between the clubs and agents about getting the maximum value of the contract for those players.

There were three second-round picks unsigned as of last week along with one pick each from the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. The New Orleans Saints had not signed any of their drafted rookies as of early last week.
NFL training camps open later this month.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at @SBJLizMullen.

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