Category: Sports Business

AFL Agent Marty Pask Exits Essentially, Creates i50 Sports

i50_logoWhile many people were nursing their hangovers on New Year’s Day, AFL agent Marty Pask took to Twitter for a special announcement. He has left Essentially to start up his own management company, i50 Sports. Fellow Essentially agent Matt Kearsley will also be moving there.

With both Marty and Matt leaving Essentially, it appears that their AFL division will wind up, as they were the only two accredited AFL agents at the firm. The division represented a host of AFL players, including Brian Lake, Michael Barlow and Dyson Heppell. All of these athletes will now move over to i50. On top of managing AFL athletes, the company will also operate in the fields of sponsorship consulting and sports marketing services.

The split from Essentially looks to be quite clean, which is rare when an agent leaves to form their own venture.

Follow i50 on Twitter here



BREAKING: Genie Bouchard Signs With IMG

opIn a move that has been rumoured for quite some time, Canadian tennis star Genie Bouchard has signed with IMG. She was previously represented by Lagardère.

Genie’s representation contract with Lagardere had expired a couple a months back and she had decided not to renew. Bouchard had been represented by Lagardère since she was 13.

The 20 year-old lit up the tennis world in 2014 by making the Wimbledon final as well as the semi finals of both the Australian and French Opens.

Her current endorsement portfolio consists of Nike, Babolat, food manufacturer Pinty’s, Coke and Rogers. Bouchard’s Nike deal is due to expire at the end of this year, and the sportswear company has already made a substantial multi-year offer for her signature. She has been touted as one of the most exciting players on the tour, and many suggest that her endorsement portfolio could potentially rival Maria Sharapova.

Genie’s lead agent will be Jill Smoller, who also represents Serena Williams. Brad Slater will also assist in her management. She has also signed with IMG Models, and is looking to enhance her standing in the fashion industry.

Genie joins a host of star tennis signings to join the ranks of IMG this year, which includes Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova

Show Me The Money: Western Sydney Wanderers Pay Dispute Reaches Deadlock

Logo_of_Western_Sydney_Wanderers_FC.svgThe Western Sydney Wanderers are currently on their way to Morocco for the World Club Championship (WCC), but whether they take the field remains unknown.

The players are currently locked in a pay dispute with the club, demanding to be compensated more fairly than what the club has offered. As it stands, the club are offering an elevated compensation percentage based on their results. If they are knocked out in the first round, the players will receive 10% of the club’s prize money. Should they go on to win the whole competition, they’ll receive 50%. To do this the club will need to defeat Spanish giants Real Madrid, meaning the likelihood of the reaching the 50% is very slim. In fact, the Wanderers are heavy underdogs to progress past the first round, so it is likely that the club will receive a total of $1.2 million, meaning the players will divide $120,000 between them.

In comparison, the players’ received 50% of the prize money for winning the Asian Champions League, and would have regardless of where they finished. This falls under the A League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), however performances in the WCC do not. It is understood the players are willing to accept a figure less than 50%.

A statement from the Wanderers explains that the prize money will be used to improve facilities and run community programs, and that this money is vital to those plans going ahead.

The case seems to boil down to the Wanderers wanting to take the ‘first money out’. What this means is they want to ensure that their projects are funded from the prize money before compensating the players. Think of it as a Hollywood movie where a star takes a percentage of gross profits before the investors are paid. They’ve clearly costed these initiatives and found that is the amount they need at minimum to ensure they can carry them out. If the team progresses and the compensation becomes greater, the club can afford to distribute more to the players.

This isn’t to say that this methodology is necessarily right. The players are more than entitled a fair share of the spoils, because without their performances, there would be no WCC. What figure that should be is up for debate, but it can certainly set a precedent for the future. The Professional Footballers’ Association should look to include a WCC section in the next CBA, ensuring that such a dispute will not occur again.

Phoenix Lands No.1 Pick, But Elite Sports Properties Wins The 2014 AFL Draft

espThe AFL Draft was held last night on the Gold Coast, and the players weren’t the only ones whose hard work paid off. Behind the scenes, agents were working around the clock to ensure their clients would get the opportunity to make it on the big stage.

Landing at the number 1 for St. Kilda was Paddy McCartin, who is managed by Phoenix Management Group. This is Phoenix’s first no.1 draft pick. The company is relatively new in terms of representation, having formed from Ricky Nixon’s former agency Flying Start.

Stride Sports Management had the most number of picks in the top 10 with three selections. These were Angus Brayshaw (3), Caleb Marchbank (6) and Nakia Cockatoo (10) respectfully.

The real question is which agency did the best overall in the draft? To determine this I gave each selection a point for their position. There were 87 draft slots last night. Starting with the no.1 pick gaining 87 points, The numbers decreased by 1 per pick, till pick 87 who received 1 point.

Based on this method, Elite Sports Properties were the clear winners with 627 points. Their first selection came in at no.5 with Daniel De Gooey heading to Collingwood. They also had another 5 picks in the top 30, with 11 total players being selected in the draft. This should come as no surprise. The multi-sport agency has the largest number of AFL players on their books, with 6 certified agents to service them.

The aforementioned Stride came in 2nd place, with 550 points and a total of 9 selections. Last year’s winners, Connors Sports Management, placed 3rd with a total of 429 points.

Below is a table of the top agencies and how they all fared:

Agency Points No. of Draftees
Elite Sports Properties 627 11
Stride Sports Management 550 9
Connors Sports Management 429 9
McDonald Sports 406 8
Phoenix Management Group 282 6
Players Ink 238 4
Mac’s Sports 216 3
Velocity 197 5
Essentially 75 2
Precision Sports 73 1

Liam Pickering Exits Strategic Management, Sets Up Precision

While details are still relatively unknown, it can be confirmed that AFL Accredited Agents Liam Pickering and James Pitcher have both left Strategic Management.

According the AFL Players Association’s Accredited Agent list, both Liam and James have started a new agency, titled Precision Sports and Entertainment Group. This leaves Ed Lower and Kam Simsek as the two remaining AFL agents at Strategic. However, it is understood that Lower has departed the company.

311012033521_afl_logoNews of a split began in March, when the Herald Sun reported that Pickering was set to move from the company. Liam denied any rift at the time. “At the moment, it’s business as normal. As you do in business, myself and my business partner have normal discussions. We are all good.” he told the paper.

It is unsure whether the new agency will take Strategic’s clients. Under AFL agent rules, a player must give three months notice before signing with a new agency. It is likely that Precision would have negotiated a fee to take the players over. With that being said, it is unsure whether Strategic will stay in the AFL representation business with Simsek at the helm. The company also boasts clients in a range of sports including football, boxing and golf. It would appear the representation arm of the company will remain strong. Their list of clients includes Gary Ablett Jr., Lance Franklin and Scott Pendlebury.

Pickering and Pitcher began representing clients for IMG, with both eventually making their way over to Strategic. Pickering joined in 2012 after a year out of the game due to a non-compete clause from IMG.

As previously mentioned, not much is known of the new venture, with the company only listing a contact address and number on the AFL Players’ website. Both are still listed as employees on the Strategic website, indicating the split just happened.

One Management Signs Partnership Deal With BDA Sports

OMGC_LogoOne Management, an Australian based sports management and talent agency, has signed a partnership agreement with BDA Sports. Under the agreement, the two companies will partner in the areas of talent representation, business consulting, PR, marketing and promotional events.

One Management, which is based in Melbourne, is part owned by NBA Centre Andrew Bogut. The firm represents over 30 athletes in a range of disciplines, including Olympic gold medallist Lydia Lassila and MLB player Peter Moylan. The company also specialises in consulting and social media & PR. Bruce Kaider is the current managing director.

BDA Sports are one of the leading basketball talent representation firms in the world. The company, run by Bill Duffy, currently represents 35 NBA players, including Australian basketballer Matthew Dellavedova.

“I have always viewed Bruce as a visionary in the field of talent management and know our unique alignment is on par with the continued strategy of expansion. The magnitude of what lies ahead for our clients and respective companies brings an intriguing level of excitement.” said Duffy of the partnership.

This is the second such partnership of it’s kind, with Australian based Elite Sports Properties recently partnering with Landmark Sports.

Read the full press release here.



Stride Sports Management Launches Cricket Division

Stride-Sports-Management-Logo-e1384474542855-760x438Australian based agency Stride Sports Management has expanded their operations by adding a Cricket Division. It will fall under their talent representation arm, which manages athletes in Football, Netball, Media and Olympians.

Stride has long had a connection to cricket, with former Australian captain Ricky Ponting being on their Board of Directors for many years. He will oversee the division, with Ben Tippett their sole cricket agent. The company currently lists one client in Hilton Cartwright. The 22 year-old currently holds playing contracts with Western Australia and Perth Scorchers.

The company sees this creation as a logical progression of the business. With T20 becoming increasingly popular throughout the world, the sport is becoming quite attractive by agencies. Just last year Elite Sports Properties also established a cricket representation arm, signing Gerard Sholly and Tony Box respectively. With the injection of riches into the sport, the Australian Cricketers’ Association has made it mandatory for agents to become accredited to represent athletes.

Stride Sports Management also operates in Event Management, Consulting and Talent Promotion. Their head office is located in Melbourne.