SBJ/February 18-24, 2013/Labor and Agents

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  • Retired Olympic skier Street signs with Progressive Sports

    Liz Mullen
    Progressive Sports Management, a boutique agency that specializes in representing Olympic athletes, has signed retired Olympic gold-medal-winning skier Picabo Street for representation.

    Thomas McCarthy, president and CEO of Lone Tree, Colo.-based Progressive, will represent Street. She was formerly represented by IMG.

    “She has a great platform with Sochi coming up,” said McCarthy, who founded Progressive in 1987 and has represented 45 Olympic medal winners. Among his other clients are volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor and softball gold medalist Lisa Fernandez.

    Picabo Street was the runner-up in NBC’s reality show “Stars Earn Stripes.”
    Photo: NBCU PHOTO BANK VIA GETTY IMAGES
    McCarthy is looking for corporate hospitality work and endorsements for Street. Her past corporate partnerships have included Nike, Kellogg’s, Panasonic, Ralph Lauren and Chapstick, but she does not have any corporate endorsements now, McCarthy said.

    Street won an Olympic gold in the Super G in the 1998 Olympics. She’s remained in the spotlight since, including finishing second in the reality show “Stars Earn Stripes,” which aired on NBC last summer.

    McCarthy said he is also targeting broadcast deals for Street. “She can do broadcast work at the Olympics, meet and greet, be a brand spokeswoman,” McCarthy said. “She is a great speaker.”

    > OCTAGON TOUTING WICKMAYER: Octagon is working with Belgian women’s tennis player Yanina Wickmayer to build her endorsement profile. The agency signed the world’s No. 23 ranked player in January; Alastair Garland, Octagon director of client management, tennis, is representing her. She was formerly represented by IMG.
     
    Wickmayer at this time has only an endorsement deal with racket company Babolat, Garland said. She had an apparel deal with Chinese clothing brand and WTA sponsor Erke but decided not to renew it, Garland said.

    “She is available in the clothing category, and we will be looking for off-the-court deals for her in the Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland regions,” Garland said.

    Garland hopes Octagon’s business relationships in that part of the world help in securing deals for Wickmayer, as Octagon owns the sanctions for WTA events in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

    > SUN WEST SIGNS ANSAH: Sun West Sports & Associates has signed BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah for representation. Sun West President Frank Bauer and general counsel Daniel Van Woerkom, both registered NFL player agents, will represent him.

    Ansah was formerly represented by NFL agent Jerome Stanley. The reason for the agent switch was not clear. Stanley would not comment on why he was terminated and Van Woerkom wouldn’t comment on why Ansah selected Sun West.
    The website NFLDraftScout.com ranked Ansah No. 15 in its mock draft last week.

    > RELATIVITY SIGNS WARMACK: Relativity Sports has signed Alabama offensive guard Chance Warmack. Agent Roosevelt Barnes, the agency’s football vice president, will represent him.

    Warmack was ranked No. 16 in NFLDraftScout.com’s mock draft last week, but Barnes believes Warmack could be a top 10 pick in the draft, even though NFL clubs do not historically use high first-round draft picks on the offensive guard position. “He won three championships,” Barnes said, referring to the Crimson Tide’s BCS titles for the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons. “He was the anchor for that offensive line.”

    > OTHER SIGNINGS: Octagon has signed Kansas State outside linebacker Arthur Brown for representation. He will be handled by agent Doug Hendrickson. NFLDraftScout.com ranked him No. 3 at his position. … 320 Sports signed Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes, who will be represented by agent Sunny Shah, was ranked as the second-best cornerback in this year’s draft by NFLDraftScout.com.

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

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