SBJ/Aug. 19-25, 2013/Labor and Agents

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  • Athletes’ Performance hires Moon to oversee draft prep

    Liz Mullen
    Athletes’ Performance has hired former NFL quarterback and hall of famer Warren Moon as director of football development, a position in which he will oversee training of prospects for the NFL draft.

    Since its inception in 1999, Athletes’ Performance has trained six No. 1 overall draft picks, with 94 first-round picks overall and 459 total draft selections. Player agents and agencies, as well as players and their parents, buy slots to train for the NFL combine, college pro days and interviews with NFL clubs.
     
    Moon, who played quarterback for 17 years in the league, will work with players at all five of the Athletes’ Performance facilities — in Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, Gulf Breeze, Fla., and Frisco, Texas.
     
    In addition to on-field work, Warren Moon will prepare players for the transition to the NFL.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    “I think Athletes’ Performance will be the first group that does combine training that will offer players a chance to work with a hall of famer,” said Mark Verstegen, Athletes’ Performance president and founder. Verstegen said he hired Moon to elevate the training for draft prospects on and off the field. Moon will oversee different position coaches as part of his new job, Verstegen said.

    “I am excited about it,” Moon said. “I will be working with all the different positions, but quarterback will be my main focus, of course.” Moon helped train Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton before they were drafted.

    In addition to working on the field with players, Moon will help them study game tape and prepare them for interview preparation with teams. Additionally, he said, he will work to prepare them for the challenges of going from college to the NFL.

    “What happens not only on the field, but what will happen off the field, is something that is more important these days,” Moon said.

    Off-the-field training will include talking to prospects about “knowing how to keep out of the wrong type of situations and how to handle yourself in public,” he said.

    Asked about the length of the deal with Athletes’ Performance, Moon said, “We are going to take it year by year and see how it goes, and I think it is going to turn into a long-term [commitment].”

    Moon said his main focus will be preparing players for the combine and their college pro days, but he may be involved in training current NFL players, not just prospects, who use Athletes’ Performance in the offseason, as well.

    The quarterback class for the 2013 draft year was said to be one of the weakest in recent history at the position, but Moon said he thinks there are a number of promising quarterbacks who could be part of the 2014 draft. “This class has a chance to be better than last year’s class,” Moon said.

    > CAA SIGNS GARCIAPARRA: Creative Artists Agency has signed former MLB all-star and current ESPN baseball analyst Nomar Garciaparra for representation in all areas, including broadcasting. A team of agents at CAA, led by Becky Sendrow, Andy Elkin and Bob Philp, will represent Garciaparra. In addition to broadcasting, CAA will represent him for television, appearances, endorsements, speaking and other work.

    He was formerly represented by Wasserman Media Group.

    Garciaparra works as a baseball analyst during ESPN’s game telecasts and appears on “Baseball Tonight” and “SportsCenter,” as well as being in the booth for the network’s coverage of the MLB All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby and the Little League World Series.

    > TLA SIGNS TOP PROSPECT: The Legacy Agency has signed St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, who has been ranked as the top major league prospect by MLB.com and other media outlets. TLA agent Greg Genske will represent him. He was formerly represented by MDR Sports Management.

    Taveras, a 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic, was signed by the Cardinals as a free agent in 2008. He was hitting .306 for the Cardinals’ Class AAA affiliate in Memphis before he suffered a high ankle sprain in May.

    > UTA SIGNS MOTA: United Talent Agency has signed José Mota, the bilingual play-by-play announcer and broadcast analyst for the Los Angeles Angels, for representation. UTA agent Ryan Hayden will represent Mota, who is fluent in Spanish and English.

    Mota is a former major league second baseman and is the son of Los Angeles Dodgers coach and former MLB player Manny Mota. He was formerly represented by Vision Sports Group.

    > NORTON SIGNS FIRST NBA PLAYER: Norton Sports Management has signed Miroslav Raduljica, a center from Serbia, while completing negotiations on a three-year deal for Raduljica with the Milwaukee Bucks. Agent Matt Babcock handled the deal after signing Raduljica in early July.
     
    Norton Sports Management, which is based in Laguna Beach, Calif., was founded as a hockey representation agency and represents 40 hockey players worldwide, including seven NHL players.

    The company launched a basketball division in January 2011 and represents more than 15 pro basketball players, all of whom are playing overseas.

    > BORAS SIGNS IGLESIAS: Baseball agent Scott Boras signed new Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias, who was recently traded from the Boston Red Sox. Iglesias was formerly repped by Relativity Sports.

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

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