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Volume 23 No. 8
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Octagon adds Bengals coordinator Jackson to list of coaches

Octagon has signed Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson for representation in all areas.

Jackson, who was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2011, will be represented by Octagon President Phil de Picciotto and John Thornton, who recently joined Octagon’s football division as an agent after working as a manager in his own company. Jackson was formerly represented by Priority Sports & Entertainment, in partnership with Thornton’s former company, JockBiz Sports.

Thornton is a former NFL player, as are Charles Fisher, Thornton’s partner in JockBiz, and former All-Pro center Jeremy Newberry, all of whom joined Octagon in July. Octagon is rebuilding its football representation business after the departures of veteran NFL agents Doug Hendrickson, C.J. LaBoy and Andy Ross earlier this year.

Octagon and de Picciotto, meanwhile, have a history of representing current and former NFL coaches, including Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith and Herm Edwards, Bill Cowher and Brian Billick, who are now broadcasters.

Hue Jackson is offensive coordinator in Cincinnati after being head coach in Oakland.
“Phil has a few coaches,” Thornton said. “He has done it for a long time and he is good at what he does. Phil is definitely going to mentor me in this process.”

An increasing number of NFL coaches have worked as broadcasters in recent years. Thornton said that could be a focus for Jackson down the road, but now he is focused on coaching. “I mean when he is done, he will probably move straight to the broadcast world, but he’s still young,” Thornton said. Jackson is 48.

Asked whether Jackson wanted to be a head coach again, Thornton said, “He is definitely comfortable where he is. But, I think if you asked any coordinator, ‘Do you want to be a head coach?’ … I think every coordinator wants to be a head coach.”

> TLA SIGNS ESCOBAR: The Legacy Agency has signed Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar for representation.

At TLA, Escobar will be represented by veteran agent and TLA principal Peter Greenberg. He was formerly represented by Kinzer Management Group.

> WASSERMAN SIGNS BJELICA: Wasserman Media Group has signed Nemanja Bjelica, a forward on the Serbian national basketball team whose NBA rights are held by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

At Wasserman Media Group, Bjelica will be represented by a team of agents led by Vice Chairman Arn Tellem. Bjelica was formerly represented by Interperformances.

The Washington Wizards drafted Bjelica in the second round in 2010 but traded him to the Timberwolves. He has been playing on professional teams in Europe, but there has been media speculation that he could play in the NBA after his performance in the recent FIBA World Cup.

Bjelica was a top performer for Serbia, helping propel his team to the gold medal game against the United States. Serbia lost 129-92, but Bjelica scored 18 points against high-level NBA competition.

> BLUE SKY SIGNS CHANDLER JONES: Blue Sky Sports & Entertainment has signed New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones for marketing representation.

Blue Sky founder and CEO Kim Zayotti will represent him. Jones did not previously have a dedicated marketing agency. He is represented on the field by Athletes First’s Joe Panos.

> CAA PROMOTES FOUR: Creative Artists Agency has promoted four employees to agent, including Ali Gallagher, who was promoted to an executive in CAA Sports’ consulting departments.

Carly Allen and Kristin Whalley were both promoted to executives in CAA Marketing, and Santini Reali was promoted to agent in CAA’s television department. All four were trainees and department coordinators before their promotions.

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