SBJ/July 15-21, 2013/Labor and Agents

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  • WME to help Nash with goal of expanding production company

    Liz Mullen
    WME has signed Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash for representation in entertainment work, including film, television and digital media.

    WME will work with Nash’s longtime agent, Bill Duffy, president of BDA Sports Management, on Nash’s endorsement and business platforms. BDA Sports Management will continue to represent Nash in contract and marketing efforts.

    At WME, Nash will be represented by a team of agents led by Philip Button and Josh Pyatt. WME will represent Nash and his production company, Meathawk Productions, which Nash co-owns with Ezra Holland, in developing new content.

    Steve Nash co-owns Meathawk Productions, the creative force behind the “30 for 30” documentary “Into the Wind.”
    Photo by: AP IMAGES
    Nash has generated attention for his development of Meathawk Productions, which has created commercials for such brands as Nike and Vitaminwater. In addition, it was a creative force behind the much-acclaimed documentary “Into the Wind,” which told the story of Canadian Terry Fox and aired as part of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series.

    Duffy, in a telephone interview last week, said that Nash is passionate about expanding his production company and that he and Nash both agreed on hiring WME to help him with his entertainment aspirations.

    “In assessing how to grow that business, you look for various relationships, and WME, in my mind, is at the highest level in that space,” Duffy said. “In working together, we will continue to do his traditional business management and traditional marketing. But this [Nash’s production company] is a little more outside-the-box, which would require their dossier and Rolodex with producers, directors and financiers in that space.”

    Button said WME plans to help Nash and Meathawk develop scripted and nonscripted television shows and films, some of them sports-related and others not.

    “Steve’s ambition and interest is to get into other types of projects outside of sports, whether it is comedy or action,” Button said. “He really likes movies and TV, and we can find those opportunities. We would like to help him build his company and partner him with existing production companies where they can develop things together.”

    Nash is the first player WME and BDA Sports have partnered together to represent. Duffy said BDA Sports does not have an exclusive relationship with WME, but may work with the entertainment agency in the future. “I like their vision, their energy,” Duffy said. “I would like to have an open relationship with [WME] with other clients we have, and they feel the same way.”

    > BLUEPRINT SIGNS WAGNER: Blueprint Management Group has signed Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, who came in second in the voting for NFL defensive rookie of the year last year.

    Blueprint founder and veteran NFL agent Fletcher Smith, who is known for representing quarterback Donovan McNabb, will represent Wagner. Wagner was formerly represented by Priority Sports & Entertainment.
    Smith said he signed Wagner after an interview process in which Wagner and his adviser, Tony Osunsanmi, vetted many agents.

    “Bobby is a high-character guy,” Smith said “In just one season, he has established himself as one of the best middle linebackers in the league and, arguably, the best young middle linebacker in the game.”

    Wagner is focused on getting involved more deeply in the Seattle area. “We intend to work hard for him off the field, especially in the Seattle market,” Smith said. “Bobby is really eager to build his brand and establish himself in the community.”

    Additionally, Blueprint has signed New Orleans Saints linebacker Martez Wilson, who was formerly represented by Kevin Poston.

    “He is a really, really good player, and I think a lot of people who don’t know about him will learn a lot more this season,” Smith said of Wilson.

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

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