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Volume 22 No. 18
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A fashionable signing: Wasserman adds runner Vessey

Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

W asserman Media Group has signed Maggie Vessey, a middle distance runner who may be known as much for being a fashion icon as a track and field athlete.

At Wasserman, she will be represented by Lindsay Kagawa Colas. Colas will co-represent her with Merhawi Keflezighi of Hawi Management, who will take the lead in representing Vessey for her track competition schedule.

Maggie Vessey helps design her running outfits, which have drawn media attention.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Vessey specializes in the 800 meters and has twice represented the United States at the IAAF World Championships, but she has gotten as much ink for her outfits, which she has helped design. Vessey has been featured by Runners World and espnW, as well as in New York Magazine, which ran a story on her in September under the headline “This Woman is the Most Stylish Athlete Right Now.”

Colas is known for representing the best women’s basketball players in the world. Britney Griner, Maya Moore and Elena Delle Donne are among her clients. Wasserman has a large Olympic athlete representation practice, but Vessey is the first U.S. track and field athlete client for both the agency and Colas.

“I would not be surprised to see our roster grow a bit heading into Rio,” Colas said.

Vessey, 32, is pointed toward the 2016 Rio Games, but whether she makes it will be determined by her performance in the Olympic trials. “Maggie ran personal bests this season so the potential is there, but what really sets her apart is her ability to keep track in the conversation in the time between Olympics,” Colas said.

Vessey has no endorsements right now, and the first thing on Colas’ agenda is getting her an apparel deal.

“Running is incredibly popular with women,” Colas said. “By virtue of her success on the track and emerging style profile, we believe Maggie has the potential to help brands position themselves well with fashion-conscious consumers.”

> IMG SIGNS SKATEBOARDERS: IMG has signed skateboarders Lizzie Armanto and Greyson Fletcher for exclusive representation in all areas.

Carl Harris, director of client management for IMG Action Sports, will represent both skaters. They were both previously without representation.

Armanto is a four-time World Cup skateboarding champion and won gold at the X Games last year.

Fletcher is a finalist for the Dew Tour’s Athlete of the Year.

Armanto’s sponsors include Vans, Birdhouse Skateboards, Sony Action Cam and G-Shock watches. Fletcher’s endorsements include RVCA Clothing, Element Skateboards and Nike. Harris will work on expanding their marketing opportunities in and beyond sports, as well as on developing media and content opportunities for the Internet, television and video.

> ATHLETES FIRST SIGNS NFL PLAYERS: Athletes First has signed Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Jermey Parnell and San Francisco 49ers cornerback and kick return specialist Perrish Cox for representation.

At Athletes First, CEO David Dunn and agent Joe Panos will represent Parnell, and agent David Mulugheta will represent Cox.

Agent William Brandon Baade formerly represented Parnell. Cox was formerly represented by Willis & Woy.

Willis & Woy partner and agent Jordan Woy said in an email, “I wish Perrish the best. We have been with him through some hard times and have always worked hard for him and were there for him when he needed us. We are disappointed, but it’s part of the business.”

> WILLIS & WOY SIGNS PLAYERS: Willis & Woy, meanwhile, has picked up two new clients, Cowboys linebacker Kyle Wilber and New Orleans Saints linebacker David Hawthorne.

Woy will represent both players. Wilber was formerly represented by agent Andy Ross. Hawthorne was formerly represented by E. Overstreet Sports Management.

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