SBJ/Sept. 11-17, 2017/Labor and Agents

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  • Octagon signs Woody; how NBA free-agency deals stack up

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    ctagon has signed former NFL offensive lineman and ESPN broadcaster Damien Woody and is negotiating a new contract for him with the network.

    Tim Scanlan, Octagon vice president, sports broadcast, is representing Woody. He was formerly represented by Don Buchwald & Associates. Scanlan joined Octagon in 2016 from ESPN where he negotiated deals for talent from the other side of the table. He and Woody have a long-standing relationship.

    “He would come into my office all of the time,” Scanlan said of Woody, when Scanlan worked at ESPN. “I would coach him. We would talk about his career and his life and how could he make himself be better.”

    Damien Woody got to know Octagon’s Tim Scanlan while the agent worked at ESPN.
    Photo by: ESPN IMAGES
    Scanlan noted that many broadcasters who were formerly athletes don’t mind, and, in fact, even ask for coaching, as they spent most of their lives being coached.

    Woody played 12 seasons in the NFL, at three different positions — guard, center and tackle — before joining ESPN as an analyst in 2011. “He’s a two-time Super Bowl winner — a lot of people forget that — he was the center for Tom Brady,” Scanlan said. Woody was drafted by the Patriots with the No. 17 overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft and also played for the Detroit Lions and New York Jets.

    Woody made it as a broadcaster because he is opinionated and authentic, and can speak about a variety of topics in both sports and culture, Scanlan said.

    “The cool thing about Damien is he has not changed who he is or his style since he arrived in the world in broadcasting or at ESPN, in particular,” Scanlan said.

    Scanlan also recently signed Belgium national soccer team coach Roberto Martinez and broadcasters Stu Grimson and Kristen Balboni as clients. Balboni had been represented by Maxx Sports & Entertainment. Martinez and Grimson were previously unrepresented for broadcast work.

    NBA CONTRACT VALUE UP: The overall volume of NBA free-agent deals may have decreased this summer, but the average contract value increased, according to numbers supplied to SportsBusiness Journal by the National Basketball Players Association.

    The average NBA free-agent contract value negotiated this summer is $22.8 million, an increase of 26.7 percent over the $18 million average for free-agent deals last summer.

    Including first-round rookie deals and free-agent contracts, the average contract value was $21.6 million in 2017, compared with $17.5 million for the same group of players last summer. That represents an increase of 23.4 percent.

    As previously reported, NBA clubs spent about $2 billion less on free-agent deals in the summer of 2017 versus the summer of 2016. That was attributed to fewer players being available this summer versus last summer.

    A total of 118 players signed free-agent deals this summer, compared with 261 last summer. Many NBA players planned their free agency around the summer of 2016 in anticipation of a spike in the salary cap due to the influx of money from the NBA’s television rights deal.

    > SPORTSTRUST SIGNS TWO: SportsTrust Advisors has signed Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Tennessee Titans guard Quinton Spain for representation.

    Agents Pat Dye Jr. and Ben Setas are representing Clinton-Dix. Bill Johnson is representing Spain.

    Clinton-Dix was formerly represented by Athletes First. Spain was formerly represented by The Game Sports Management & Media.

    > WASSERMAN SIGNS GOLFER: Wasserman has signed American golfer Julian Suri, who won the European Tour’s Made in Denmark Open, shooting a final-round low score of 64. Wasserman golf agent Jamie Farrell is representing Suri, who was ranked No. 109 in the world last week. Suri, who played golf at Duke, was previously unrepresented.

    > WME REPPING BURKHARDT: WME broadcast agent Josh Pyatt is now representing Fox NFL play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt. He was formerly represented by Creative Artists Agency.
     

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


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