SBJ/Sept. 1-7, 2014/Labor and Agents

Trask aims for spot on bookshelf; Pagano’s agent already there

CBS Sports broadcaster and former Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask is writing a book on her life as a female executive in the NFL, and her agent, Maxx Sports & Entertainment President Mark Lepselter, plans to begin talks with prospective publishers this week.

“The book will be my reflections on and anecdotes from almost three decades with the Raiders and in the National Football League,” Trask said last week. “I will also share my views on and my experience as a woman in business.”

Trask has been working on the book for about a month with longtime football reporter Michael Freeman, who writes on the NFL for Bleacher Report.

Trask
Trask resigned as Raiders CEO in May 2013 after having worked at the team since 1987, when she was hired as a junior lawyer. Raiders owner Al Davis promoted her in 1997 to be the first female CEO of an NFL team.

Lepselter signed Trask as a client last year and negotiated her deal with CBS Sports. She is an analyst with CBS Sports Network’s “That Other Pregame Show,” and, as was announced last week, is one of four featured anchors of an all-female sports talk show, “We Need to Talk,” that will have its premiere Sept. 30.

Lepselter said that he plans to speak to a variety of publishers after Labor Day and that he is confident that he will sell the book. He noted that Trask has a number of funny stories about working for the Raiders and about the late Davis. “It is not ­— and I want to make it clear — in any way, shape or form a ‘tell-all,’” Lepselter said.
Trask agreed, saying, “It is not my intent to be salacious.”

Trask noted that books on women succeeding in business are very topical now. “I don’t plan to lecture or to preach, but rather to share my views, on what worked for me, in a particularly male-dominated business,” Trask said. “But I don’t want to profess to know what the answer or the best strategy or best solution is for all women. Women are different.”

Agent Bruce Tollner co-wrote Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano’s book.

> NFL AGENT WRITES BOOK: Several high-profile agents have written books on what it is like to be in the business, but NFL agent Bruce Tollner has a book out this summer on a completely different subject.

Tollner co-wrote a book with Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano detailing the coach’s battle with leukemia during the 2012 season.

“Sidelined: Overcoming Odds through Unity, Passion and Perseverance” was published in June by Christian publisher Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins.

Tollner represents Pagano, but they have been friends for 30 years. Pagano started his coaching career as an assistant under Tollner’s father, Ted Tollner, at Southern Cal in the 1980s.

Pagano was hesitant about writing the book, but Tollner convinced him that it would help others diagnosed with cancer, and proceeds have been donated to cancer-research charities. Tollner also wrote “The Child Game Plan,” a plan for parents to help their children become happy and productive adults that he self-published in 2010.

Tollner
Tollner co-founded Rep 1 Sports with his younger cousin, Ryan Tollner, in 2006, and they represent about 50 NFL players, including Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.

> SPORTSTRUST SIGNS NFL PLAYERS: SportsTrust Advisors has signed Tennessee Titans linebacker Moise Fokou and San Diego Chargers offensive tackle Willie Smith.

SportsTrust’s Pat Dye Jr. and Bill Johnson will represent the players.

Fokou was represented by Sports International Group. Smith was represented by Reaves Coley.

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

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