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SBJ/Aug. 19-25, 2013/People and Pop Culture
Plugged In: Constance Schwartz, SMAC Entertainment
Published August 19, 2013, Page 3
A lot of the sports people I deal with say, ‘Oh my God, how do you deal with the entertainment side?,’ and the entertainment people are asking, ‘How do you deal with the sports side?’ I say, ‘It’s very simple: You guys are a lot alike; some of you just wear better suits.”
The merger of sports and entertainment: [Previously] there was sports, and then there was entertainment. You were either an athlete or you were an entertainer. … In today’s day and age, especially with the Internet, the access and the kids that are part of this whole digital nation that are now growing up — becoming an entertainer or an athlete, it’s merged. It’s blended. It’s all one.
Athletes and entertainers: The entertainers have learned from the athletes how to take advantage and maximize a brand’s reach, access, support [and] promotion in getting your message across. And also, a charitable component. I think most of these guys when they partner with a brand are also able to support a cause or a charity that is near and dear to their hearts. Athletes are learning it’s OK to have more than just your contractual agent. You should reach out and work with a publicist or a manager, a commercial agent. It’s OK to have a team and it’s OK to help them to allow you to maximize and build your brand, to become a brand. … Just because you have a million Twitter followers doesn’t make you a brand.
On Jay-Z getting into the sports talent rep business: I love it. I think Jay-Z is one of the smartest businessmen and entertainers in the world. For him to capitalize on what he leveraged and built — his empire in the music space — [and] to be able to allow athletes to take advantage of that I think is a win-win.
Will others follow?: I don’t think you will see anyone else really doing that. I mean, look what Jay-Z just pulled off with his record that came out with Samsung. What better example of branding is that? Before his record even came out, he sold a million albums, through a brand. I think it’s different [than other rappers becoming agents in the past]. It is not only him; he has a really smart team around him.
Sports story you’re watching?: I am still hoping and waiting for an NFL team to come to L.A. … I am assuming it would probably be an expansion team, but I hope I do see it. If you look at what L.A. Live has done downtown, it is amazing. They are really working hard to expand that, so I am hoping they can figure out a way to get an NFL team here.