Sports agents received plenty of inquiries about endorsements after Patrick Reed, the agency’s only golfer client, won the Masters.
“It’s fair to say the email box is overflowing,” Lowell Taub, CAA Sports global head of sports endorsements, said last week. Taub co-represents Reed with Paul Danforth, global head of sales.
The agency is a big player in the golf consulting business, working on marketing programs for major brands such as KPMG, Zurich Insurance, Mitsubishi Electric, Farmers Insurance, Waste Management, CDW, Web.com and others. But although CAA Sports represents athletes throughout sports, the agency has not actively recruited golfers as clients.
In 2016 the opportunity came up to sign Reed, who was then the No. 7-ranked player in the world, and the agency took it. “Patrick had just defeated Rory McIlroy in one of the most epic Ryder Cup singles matches ever, and had just won his fifth PGA event at The Barclays,” Taub said. “Patrick was a best-in-class athlete, and we are in the business of representing best-in-class athletes.”
Nike, Hublot and Ultimate Software are Reed’s sponsors, but Reed does not have a club deal. Taub said that may or may not change. Reed plays a mixed bag of clubs, but he would be “open” to a deal under the right circumstances, Taub said. “Our decision will be driven by performance versus chasing a deal,” he said.
Taub is an Olympic agent who has represented several stars, including skier Bode Miller, sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross, skier Julia Mancuso, softball player Jessica Mendoza, snowboarder Chloe Kim, gymnast Gabby Douglas and skateboarder Nyjah Huston, who will aim to compete in his first Olympics in 2020. But Reed is Taub’s first golf client.
“The majority of my expertise and experience has been working with individual sport athletes — ski, snowboard, swim, skateboarding,” Taub said. “So, in that regard, it’s more same than different. As huge golf fans, having the opportunity to work with Patrick and see him win the Masters is a surreal moment for both me and Paul.”
EXCEL SIGNS NBA PROSPECTS: Excel Sports Management has signed two projected lottery picks for the NBA draft, Duke forward Marvin Bagley III and Villanova guard/forward Mikal Bridges.
Jeff Schwartz, Excel president and NBA agent, is representing Bagley, who was ranked No. 2 on the nbadraft.net mock draft last week. Bridges, who was ranked No. 10 by nbadraft.net, will be represented by Excel agents Sam Goldfeder and Jordan Gertler.
VIP PICKS UP INGRAM: VIP Sports Management has signed New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram Jr. for representation. Agents Paul Bobbitt and David Jones are representing Ingram, who was a first-round pick in the 2011 NFL draft and has a year left on his second contract. He was formerly represented by Lagardère Sports.
Bobbitt and Jones are partners in Detroit-based VIP Sports, which was founded in 2014. Bobbitt played college football with the running back’s father, Mark Ingram Sr.
LAGARDÈRE SIGNS TWO: Lagardère Sports has signed Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson and San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ronald Blair. Agents Joel Segal and Chafie Fields are representing the players. Jackson was formerly represented by BEST Football. Blair was formerly represented by US Sports Management.
WASSERMAN CATCHES: NFL agents Doug Hendrickson and C.J. LaBoy, who recently joined Wasserman, have signed two wide receivers, Mike Thomas of the Los Angeles Rams and Brice Butler of the Arizona Cardinals. Thomas was formerly represented by BC Sports. Butler was formerly represented by Dream Point Sports.