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Volume 21 No. 1

Labor and Agents

Liz Mullen
Headline Media Management, a New York-based agency specializing in representing sports broadcasters, has signed former Denver Broncos running back and NFL MVP Terrell Davis for representation in broadcast and marketing work. The agency also recently signed retired New York Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff and current New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford for broadcast and other off-the-field opportunities.

Headline Media agents Mark Zimmerman, Brian Jacobs and Michael Glantz will represent Davis, Westhoff and Weatherford.

Davis, who was represented on the field by NFL player agent Neil Schwartz, has worked as a correspondent for the NFL Network in the past but did not previously have an agent who specialized in broadcast work, said Zimmerman, who will serve as Davis’ lead agent.

As for Westhoff, Zimmerman noted that there are a number of former NFL offensive and defensive coaches who are serving as network analysts, so Westhoff would bring a different perspective as a retired special teams coach.

Weatherford, who is represented on the field by NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus, does not plan to retire from playing any time soon, Zimmerman said. Rather, he is part of a growing trend of current athletes who are hiring broadcast agents to start work on a second career even prior to their retirement from playing.

> MLBPA REVIEWING FILINGS FROM JAY-Z, OTHERS: The MLB Players Association was reviewing the formal application of artist Jay-Z to become an MLBPA-certified agent last week, said Rick Shapiro, MLBPA senior adviser.

Jay-Z earlier this month launched Roc Nation Sports and signed New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano as the firm’s first client, but in order to negotiate a contract with the Yankees or any other MLB club, Jay-Z first must be certified by the MLBPA. Roc Nation executives Juan Perez and Rich Kleiman also have filed formal applications for MLBPA certification.

All the major players unions have regulations prohibiting agents from having actual or perceived conflicts of interest in the representation of players, including holding ownership interests in clubs in that sport. The MLBPA agent application, specifically, asks that individuals disclose any and all business interests not only with MLB and minor league clubs, but with any professional sports team or organization.

Jay-Z (whose real name is Shawn Carter) was reportedly in the process of selling his less than 1 percent interest in the NBA Nets last week. MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner has previously said the union would review whether there are any ownership or conflict issues that need to be addressed for Roc Nation executives to be certified.

There is no set time frame for the MLBPA to review and approve or decline an agent application, Shapiro said. “It will be Micheal’s decision as the executive director of the players association to make as to whether [the applicants] should be certified or not,” Shapiro said.

> WASSERMAN SIGNS GOLFER: Wasserman Media Group has signed three-time PGA Tour event winner John Rollins for representation.

Wasserman golf agent Terry Reilly will represent Rollins. He was formerly represented by Sports Management International.

Rollins currently has deals with Srixon, parent company of Cleveland Golf, for clubs and with TaylorMade Adidas for his driver and his shoes. The deal with Srixon is up at the end of the year, but Reilly said Rollins has a great relationship with both Srixon and Cleveland Golf.

“What we want to do is create new opportunities, not necessarily to change anything,” Reilly said.

> SIGNING FOR EXCEL, KLUTCH, BDA: Excel Sports Management signed Indiana University forward/center Cody Zeller, a projected NBA draft lottery pick, for representation. Excel NBA player agent Sam Goldfeder will represent him. … Klutch Sports Group signed Texas point guard Myck Kabongo for representation. Klutch founder Rich Paul will serve as Kabongo’s lead agent, and Mark Termini will manage his NBA contract negotiations. Website last week projected Kabongo as the No. 41 pick for this year’s NBA draft. … BDA Sports Management signed Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah for representation. Noah will be represented by BDA Chairman and CEO Bill Duffy; he was formerly represented by Lagardère Unlimited.

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