SBJ/March 24-30, 2014/Labor and Agents

Sandoval launches consulting company

Sandy Sandoval, a longtime EA Sports executive who left the company last year, has launched a new consulting company, Sandoval Ventures, and signed three companies as clients, including Microsoft.

His other two clients are Monster Headphones and ifonly.com, a website that sells experiences with celebrities, Sandoval said last week.

SANDOVAL
Sandoval Ventures is based in Carlsbad, Calif., where Sandoval lives, and right now he doesn’t have office space or employees, but he said that may change as the company grows.

Sandoval worked at EA Sports from 1995 until last October, when he resigned to pursue other opportunities. When he left EA Sports, his job was senior director of athlete relations, which entailed working with athletes and agents who had deals with EA Sports and its video and digital games, including the popular Madden game.

In his new business, what Sandoval is doing is not so much corporate consulting, but what he calls “athlete relations consulting.” His company does not take the place of corporate consulting agencies, he said. For example, Sandoval Ventures is working with Microsoft on its new partnership with the NFL, but it is working with Wasserman Media Group and Catalyst PR, he said.

“I have been hired as a consultant,” Sandoval said of his deal with Microsoft. “They have a huge deal with the NFL and there are a lot of activations [with athletes].”

He is also helping Monster Headphones with deals with athletes, he said.

At ifonly.com, which allows celebrities to sell personalized items and experiences to fans to benefit charities, Sandoval runs the sports division. Kobe Bryant, Marshawn Lynch and Greg Norman are among the 33 sports figures and organizations offering items and experiences on the website.

In his years at EA Sports, Sandoval built relationships with athletes and agents throughout sports. Although he did not rule out representing players, Sandoval said last week he is concentrating on representing and consulting for companies.

“What I am doing, I am consulting in sports marketing, helping companies that are looking for athletes,” he said. “I am helping them with NFL players, athletes, anyone who has to do with athlete and talent. Negotiating the deals with [athletes] and the agents. You know me. My whole thing is my Rolodex is valuable and I have been able to leverage my Rolodex.”

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