Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 20 No. 42

Labor and Agents

Jay Cutler’s deal to be an analyst on Fox’s NFL coverage, announced this month, was negotiated not by a Hollywood agency or firm specializing in broadcasting work but by Mark Block, who has served as the quarterback’s off-the-field agent for years.

Block is director of marketing and business development for NFL representation firm Elite Athlete Management and owns his own agency, The Block Agency, which represents models, actors and hosts.

Mark Block (left) and Jay Cutler with Cutler’s sister Jenna
“It was not a planned career move,” Block said. “The situation presented itself organically.”

Many athletes hire a broadcasting agent when they’re looking to get into TV, and some made some calls when news leaked that Cutler was auditioning for the Fox job, but Block did the deal.

A mutual friend had introduced Block to someone at the network, and they started talking about the possibility of Cutler filling the spot vacated by John Lynch, who left to become general manager of the San Francisco 49ers in January.

“He went out and did a test with [Fox NFL play-by-play announcer] Kevin Burkhardt and he thought it went well and apparently it did, because they hired him,” Block said. “He took this job because it’s what he wants to do, and his football career as of now is over.”

Cutler, 34, an 11-year NFL veteran, has been a free agent since the Bears cut him in March.

Block said he signed a nondisclosure agreement and could not reveal details of the deal, nor would he say with whom he negotiated at Fox.

Cutler had deals with Cadillac, Panini and Nike, but the quarterback “was not a big endorsement guy,” Block said. Block was involved with the Jay Cutler Foundation, which benefits children with diabetes, and negotiated his deal for “The Jay Cutler Show” on ESPN Chicago, which ran from 2012 to 2014.

Baseball representation firm Sosnick Cobbe & Karon has hired Jonathan Einalhori away from The Topps Co. as the agency’s vice president of marketing, to work on off-the-field deals for more than 30 MLB clients, including Mets slugger Jay Bruce.

Einalhori was formerly director of player and talent licensing at Topps, where he handled negotiations with agents in multiple sports on trading card and autograph and memorabilia deals. Einalhori started his new job May 8 and is working out of New York. He will report to agency partners Matt Sosnick, Paul Cobbe and Adam Karon.

“We have had people in marketing roles, but we have never had anyone with the pedigree of a Jon Einalhori,” said Sosnick, who started the firm 20 years ago, in 1997. “Each year our business has grown and the industry is putting more of an emphasis on the marketing side and we didn’t want to feel we were piecemealing it together,” he said.

Last year, SCK represented five first-round and four second-round selections in the MLB draft. The agency also represents players in Japan and South Korea. Clients in MLB include Giants pitcher Matt Moore, Angels pitcher Ricky Nolasco, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell and Colorado Rockies pitcher

Chad Bettis. SCK also represents Brewers first baseman Eric Thames, who made headlines last month by leading the league in home runs after playing baseball the last three years in the Korea Baseball Organization.

Sosnick said the firm went through a thorough search process before hiring Einalhori. “We literally went out and identified three or four guys at major, major companies,” he said. “These are guys we know and felt like they could take a marketing department and whatever their vision was and have the financial and physical resources to do what they felt they needed to do.”


Einalhorni said he got to work with and to like and respect all three partners at SCK at his job at Topps. He has been impressed with their professionalism and ability to recruit top talent.

“Topps is doing really very well and I really, truly didn’t want to leave,” Einalhori said. “But [Sosnick, Cobbe and Karon] are really good agents and there is a need in their business to grow the off-the-field piece, so I relish the opportunity to build something.”

> ICM SIGNS ED WERDER: ICM Partners has signed veteran NFL insider, reporter and broadcaster Ed Werder for representation.

At ICM, Werder will be represented by veteran sports broadcast agent Lou Oppenheim, partner and head of broadcasting. He was previously without representation, although he had been represented in the past by Creative Artists Agency.

Werder was among the 100 on-air reporters and personalities laid off by ESPN last month. During his time at that network, he contributed to “NFL Insiders,” “NFL Live,” “SportsCenter,” “Sunday NFL Countdown” and “Monday Night Countdown.”

> LOTTERY WINNER: Jeffrey Wechsler’s 24/7 Sports Management is representing two projected NBA lottery picks, Duke forward Jayson Tatum and Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac, in partnership with Perry RogersPR Partners.

Wechsler is the lead NBA agent and will represent the players with NBA clubs. Rogers, and Colin Smeeton, president of PRP, will work with Wechsler on marketing and other off-the-court deals. Wechsler began his career at David Falk’s F.A.M.E. and currently represents Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving. ranks Tatum No. 4 and Isaac No. 8 on its mock draft.

> MILLER NARROWS REPS: Vanguard Sports Management is now representing Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller on and off the field on an exclusive basis.

Joby Branion, founder of Vanguard, who negotiated Miller’s reported six-year, $114 million extension with the Broncos last year, will lead his representation. He was previously co-represented by Vanguard and Athletes First for marketing. Miller’s endorsements include Adidas, Chef’s Cut Jerky, Muzik and Old Spice.

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