SBJ/October 1-7, 2012/Labor and Agents

After 25 years as sports agent, Kremer launching new career

Liz Mullen
Veteran NFL player agent Ken Kremer has retired from the agent business after a 25-year career, first at IMG and then at CAA Sports.

Kremer quietly left CAA, where he had been working since 2006, a few months ago. During his career, he represented some of the biggest stars in the league with longtime partner and leading industry agent Tom Condon.

“In June, I made the decision to leave the agency and start something different,” said Kremer, who rarely talks to the media. “It was time for me to do something different after 25 years.”

Kremer said he plans to work in the financial services industry and was close to a deal to be hired at a financial company. He would not name the firm.

Kremer, in fact, did not want any press about the fact that he was leaving the agent business, but the news leaked out last week after ESPN Dallas reported that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, a Kremer client, was being represented by CAA Football agent R.J. Gonser. Gonser, who has long been Romo’s marketing agent, recently became certified by the NFL Players Association to represent players in NFL club contract work.

At CAA, clients are represented by a team of agents across the agency, although one or two agents usually takes the lead. Kremer has been identified as the lead agent for Romo, Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman and Pittsburgh tight end Heath Miller, among others. Kremer would not discuss his former NFL player clients except to say, “All of my guys have stayed with CAA, and rightly so.”

Kremer began working as an agent with Condon in 1987, soon after Condon opened his own shop, Tom Condon & Associates, in Kansas City. Condon knew Kremer from his NFL playing days on the Kansas City Chiefs, where Condon was an offensive lineman and Kremer was a defensive lineman.

“We played together for six years, and during those six years we were roommates together, on the road and in training camp,” Condon said. “When I started in the agent business, I asked him to come with me.”

Condon and Kremer joined IMG three years later and proceeded to build a dominant NFL player practice. From 1997 until 2006, Condon and Kremer co-represented 36 first-round draft picks, more than any other agent, agent team or agency during that time period.

“We pretty much did everything together,” Condon said. “He was a top agent in the business for a really long time, whether it was in the recruiting or the negotiating. He did everything.”

When Condon and Kremer agreed to join CAA in 2006, Condon moved to St. Louis, where his new partner and CAA Football co-head Ben Dogra, was based. Kremer, who had kids in high school at the time, stayed in Kansas City.

Maxx Sports is representing Mike Pereira in talks with publishers about a book deal..
Photo by: NEWSCOM
In the agent business, Condon has been seen as the more powerful of the Condon-Kremer tandem. That suited Kremer just fine. “I would say he was like Johnny Carson and I was Ed McMahon,” Kremer said.

Kremer said he has no regrets about the career he had on and off the field in football. “I don’t think that I could have painted a better picture,” he said. “I was a seventh-round pick out of Ball State and spent six years in the league and 25 years recruiting and representing players. I had a great, fun-filled career with a guy I respected and loved being around.”

> MAXX SPORTS SIGNS PEREIRA: Maxx Sports Entertainment has signed Fox Sports analyst and former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira in all areas and is in talks with publishers about a book deal. Maxx President and agent Mark Lepselter will represent him. He was formerly represented by Wasserman Media Group.

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


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