Written by: Garrett Smith, AAE for Winegars Ice Cream & Coffee
PR As A Sports Agent
A job most often overlooked in the Public Relations world are sports agents. Most people view this field as an accountant for an athlete or someone who sells the athlete to which ever team offers the most money. In a sense these descriptions are correct but leave out so much more to their job. Sports agents are constantly producing PR for their clients success along with keeping a positive brand image. There’s a battle to fight off all the bad press that pours in from many sources. You might think these famous athletes are clients who don’t get into trouble and have great PR without an agent. You would be very mistaken.
Stars Lining Up
In this day an age there are billions of ways you can be enticed to make bad choices. This increases when you add lots of money to the equation. It is the agent’s job to try to keep their clients seen in the most positive light to the public. One of the more popular sports agents is Drew Rosenhaus, representing over 140 clients in the sports world.
Some of his more notable clients are Chad Johnson, Frank Gore, Rex Grossman, Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy, Jimmy Smith, Plaxico Burress, Pete Stoyanovich, Warren Sapp and up until just recently Johnny Manziel or more famously known as “Johnny Football.”
Johnny Football was a high rated rookie coming in to the NFL. Manziel made a splash in the NFL with his play on the field and at the same time made an even bigger splash off the field. Manziel was drafted in the first round despite some of the bad press he had coming out of college. Through out Manziel’s first year in the NFL he was able to secure many endorsements and of those endorsements the biggest was Nike. Johnny Football was looking pretty good in the eyes of the public and on the field. Unfortunately this would not last long. Even with Johnny’s agent advising him, Johnny still managed to wreck the positive PR that had been built around him.
Hardest Before The End
As Johnny’s agent, Drew had to try to turn Johnny’s inappropriate gestures and words on the field into a positive view. This was hard for Drew because it’s hard to explain why your client flipped the middle finger to a crowd. This was just the beginning of an up hill battle for Drew, posing as the agent representing Johnny “Football” Manziel. As if the splash on the field wasn’t enough work for Drew, Johnny decided to make a bigger splash off the field. Numerous photos started showing up of Johnny on the internet partying late and missing team meetings the next day. The biggest PR obstacle Drew faced was Manziel getting intoxicated and in a physical altercation with his girl friend. This put Drew in a hard spot because sponsors started to talk about dropping his client. With all this bad press building up it wasn’t looking good for Johnny and Drew.
Had To Come To an End
Couple months after getting clean Johnny was back at his old ways of partying and drinking. It wasn’t long till the public view of Johnny’s actions were seen in a very negative light and seemed there was no coming back from it. In one fall swoop history was made in Drew Rosenhaus career when he decided to terminate his contract with Johnny Football. In his 27 year-long career, Drew Rosenhaus had never terminated a contract with a client before. At the same time Nike decided that Manziel’s actions did not reflect Nike’s values and they terminated their contract with him as well.
Sport Agent PR….Easy or Hard
Not all clients are the same when you are a sports agent, but this is a prime example of how much Public Relations goes into being a sports agent. In this era of technology people are watching and recording every thing famous people do in their every day life. An agent has to be doing PR 24 hours a day in this career and it only takes one action caught on tape to ruin the public’s view of a person. Ask yourself, is doing PR as a Sports Agent easy or hard?