SBJ/September 10-16, 2012/Labor and Agents

NBA player agent Fegan leaves Lagardère, plans uncertain

Liz Mullen
Powerful NBA player agent Dan Fegan has left Lagardère Unlimited, which acquired his basketball player representation practice two years ago when it bought the former Blue Entertainment Sports Television.

“I can confirm I am no longer with Lagardère Unlimited,” Fegan said last week. But he also noted that, “We are currently engaged in active discussions.”

Fegan declined to comment further. Lagardère Unlimited COO Kevin O’Connor declined to comment.

One source said there was a possibility that Fegan could go back to Lagardère, but multiple sources said that was unlikely.

Photo by: NBAE / GETTY IMAGES
Dan Fegan headed the basketball division at Lagardère Unlimited, which represents more than 40 players.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Fegan headed the basketball division at Lagardère, which represents more than 40 players. He’s been agent for, among others, new Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard and 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall, of Washington. Other clients include Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, Troy Murphy and Jrue Holiday.

It was unknown at press time what players, or agents, if any, might leave Lagardère with Fegan. Star athlete clients generally stay with the agent with whom they have a relationship. Sources said Lagardère, which is owned by Paris-based conglomerate Lagardère Group, intends to continue to be active in the basketball player rep business.

Also uncertain was whether Fegan might open his own shop or if he could pair with another multisport talent representation firm. Sources said he has been talking to other firms.

Prior to his practice being acquired by BEST in August 2008, Fegan in the early 2000s was part of the now-defunct Assante Sports. He has also operated his own firms, Fegan & Associates and Dynasty Sports Group.

Fegan joined Lagardère in June 2010, when the company launched into the business of representing American athletes with its BEST acquisition. BEST also included the former SFX tennis, events and media divisions, as well as the practice of prominent NFL player agent Joel Segal. Segal, whose clients include Michael Vick, Reggie Bush and Chris Johnson, agreed to a long-term deal to stay at the agency in January. Also in January, Lagardère acquired Gaylord Sports Management Group, a major golf player and MLB player representation firm.

Fegan’s contract, which he negotiated with the former BEST, had been set to expire this summer, in July, although sources indicated it may have been extended.

David Bauman, a veteran NBA player agent who represents Metta World Peace and Andrew Bogut and is executive vice president of Lagardère’s basketball practice, was still at the company last week, although sources said he had a “key man clause” tied to Fegan’s contract. Under such a clause, an employee may leave the company if a “key man,” in this case Fegan, leaves. Bauman declined to comment.

Mitchell Butler, another NBA player agent who worked under Fegan, also declined to comment after he was reached at Lagardère’s Los Angeles office.

CAA SIGNS MILLS: CAA Sports has signed San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills for representation. A team of agents, led by NBA player agent Steven Heumann, will represent him. Mills was formerly represented by Aaron Goodwin.

NFLPA HIRES EHRLICH: The NFL Players Association’s legal department has hired Ned Ehrlich, an attorney who has worked as outside counsel to the players union for years on workers’ compensation matters, as a staff counsel. Additionally, longtime NFLPA staff counsel Tim English will now be working at the union on a part-time rather than a full-time basis. The changes were announced by NFLPA general counsel Tom DePaso in a memo to agents late last month.

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

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