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Volume 21 No. 34
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Denise White, EAG Sports Management

Photo by: PETER YANG
I
n 1996, when Denise White first started a business to manage athletes and entertainers, she had a difficult time breaking in.

Denise White
EAG SPORTS MANAGEMENT,
FOUNDER AND CEO
“Every time I turned around there was a man telling me I couldn’t do something,” said White, founder and CEO of EAG Sports Management.

Twenty years later, not only do people take White seriously, but actress Jennifer Aniston has been tapped to play White in a movie about her life.

White manages about 35 athletes on a full-time basis. Tony Gonzalez, former Chiefs and Falcons tight end, was her first client. Current clients include Antonio Gates, Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, DeSean Jackson and, in the NBA, Joe Johnson.

“There is no agency out there, run by a woman, that represents the stature of clientele that we do,” White said. “There just isn’t.”

White is known in the business as being tough. (“If I was a man, I’d be called a straight shooter,” she said.) She also notes that her work goes beyond securing deals for her clients.

“Most of my biggest and best bodies of work are often unseen, as they are typically surrounding crisis management,” White said. “Helping a handful of athletes recover from crisis situations is definitely at the top of the list of this year’s accomplishments.”

In December 2014, a profile of White published in Men’s Journal caught the eye of “Dallas Buyers Club” screenwriter Melisa Wallack. It was earlier this year when the Hollywood trades announced that Aniston would star in the film, which is currently being called “The Fixer.”

White notes the screenplay is still being written. “They are in the middle of writing the script right now,” she said. “People know about the movie because it was all over the news, but because it hasn’t come out yet, my life hasn’t changed much.”

— Liz Mullen

  • An attribute I look for when hiring: An ability to acclimate and quickly adjust to a variety of situations and personalities.
  • A networking tip I’ve learned: Take advantage of every opportunity to talk to people who can share knowledge or provide professional insight or assistance.
  • Biggest challenge I face working in sports: Time. Keeping up with current events became much easier with the evolution of the news cycle, but with that came significant decrease in the ability to get out ahead of it. Social media has changed the face of the industry, and to stay current is a growing challenge.
  • Best advice I’ve received for career development: Never take “No” for an answer.
  • Woman in sports business I’d most like to meet: Billie Jean King. Not only is she a phenomenal and legendary athlete, but her relentless efforts forged a path for so many women in the sports industry.
  • Most memorable sporting event attended: I attend the Super Bowl every year; very fortunate to have clients play in the last one. My client of 12 years finally got to go to a Super Bowl: Jared Allen. He was one of my very first clients, and watching him finally get to the big game (with Carolina) was really so memorable.
  • Causes supported: I work with adoption and foster care agencies annually giving back. I was a foster child, so it’s important for me to help out. I am also a huge animal rights activist and not only donate my time but also my money to abused and neglected animals.