Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 22 No. 19
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Baker Mayfield takes marketing in-house

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is bringing his marketing representation in-house, as his family’s private-equity firm, Camwood Capital Group, has hired longtime marketing executive Chris Talbott as brand strategist.

Talbott has worked in marketing positions at sports agencies BDA Sports and Wasserman, as well as at Microsoft and most recently at his own consulting firm, Hef-T. In his new role at Camwood Capital, Talbott will represent Mayfield in marketing work. Mayfield previously had been represented by Waterhouse Hayes for marketing and off-field work but left that firm last fall.

Mayfield’s father, James, founded Camwood Capital Group, an Austin, Texas-based private-equity firm that focuses on industrial companies, primarily precision manufacturing in the aerospace and tech industries. The Mayfields are a tight-knit family and both James and Baker’s brother, Matt, whose title at Camwood Capital is acquisitions strategist, have been involved in the quarterback’s businesses, including his representation.

“We collectively, the Mayfields, decided to go another route with marketing,” Matt Mayfield said. “Once word got out that Baker didn’t have the marketing representation that he had previously, it was like blood in the water, the sharks started circling.”

Nike and Bose are among Baker Mayfield’s marketing partners.
Photo: getty images

A walk-on at Texas Tech before transferring to Oklahoma, Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy in 2017, was the No. 1 pick in last year’s NFL draft and was named Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America for his performance with the Browns, which included breaking the NFL record for passing touchdowns by a rookie.

The Mayfields did talk with different marketing representation firms but decided instead to hire a person they liked and trusted who had marketing credentials and make that person part of Camwood Capital Group, Matt Mayfield said.

“We are taking a very long-term and forward-thinking approach where guys like Kobe or Kevin Durant have done later in their careers — we are going to do much earlier in Baker’s career, just because of us being in a fairly new position of having an established business prior to Baker being on a center stage,” he said.

Asked if the company might represent other athletes, he said, “We won’t rule anything out, but our focus is on building Baker’s brand.”

In addition to its private equity firm, the Mayfield family also has a new venture capital firm, Camwood Ventures, which will seek out investment in early stage companies in emerging industries, including esports and new media. Mayfield is interested in esports, his brother said.

Baker Mayfield already has his own company, Team BRM (which stands for Baker Reagan Mayfield), which is an LLC that operates as a holding company for the quarterback’s marketing deals. His endorsements include Allen Edmonds, Bose, EarBuds and Nike.

“We are looking for traditional and non-traditional [companies] that are on brand with Baker — that love that competitive nature, that love that story of this underdog, that want to showcase that and embrace that,” Talbott said.

Talbott was involved in marketing athletes across sports while at Wasserman but started his career at high-end boutique NBA player representation firm BDA Sports.

“Chris Talbott worked for BDA in its early years and really helped set the trajectory of what we would become,” said Bill Duffy, BDA Sports founder and CEO. “I have great fondness for him both professionally and personally.”

Both Talbott and Matt Mayfield said they are not interested in just following footprints of marketing deals made by other star athletes before him. Talbott said he and Mayfield expect the quarterback to build on his rookie success.

“We don’t want to go out and get too excited about this amazing rookie year that he had and just go out and fill every category we can,” Talbott said. “We are looking at a long-term approach.”

Mayfield is represented on the field by veteran NFL agents Tom Mills and his father, Jack Mills, at Capital Sports Advisors.

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