There is a lot of competition in the world of agents these days.
One of the new players is called Blackwave/SFX Sports/ProServ/Blue Equity.
Actually, it’s not called that.
Blackwave is the agency of Rasheed Wallace’s agent, Bill Strickland. Led by tennis agency legend and former top tennis player Donald Dell, ProServ was a leading agency that was acquired by SFX Sports in 1999. (Dell also signed Michael Jordan to ProServ back in the day — one his Pro-Serv underlings was David Falk. But I digress.)
Now all those entities are part of Blue Equity.
Jonathan Blue is the Chairman and Managing Director of Blue Equity. I talked to him today and he confirms that his agency will represent a couple of big-name Gators: Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer.
Noah was no surprise. Dell has represented Joakim’s father, tennis legend Yannick Noah, for ages. Every basketball agent I talked to always expected Noah to sign with Dell’s group.
But Brewer, until recently considered to be one of the big remaining prizes to be signed up, and the subject of extensive courtship from a number of agents, is something of a surprise.
Blue says the relationship with Noah was a factor:
“Obviously, we had a lot of interest in him, and our people made a run at him. There was a pre-existing relationship with his teammate Joakim Noah’s father. Our pitch is that it’s good to stay together. We have the father and the grandfather of the business in Donald Dell and Bill Strickland, as well as a Kim Grillier, who is one of the great young up-and-coming agents. They work as a team, doing whatever is best for the client.”
Those people who tell you relationships matter in business? They’re not lying. Donald Dell built a relationship with a tennis player decades ago, and now that relationship is, by all appearances, the driving force in the most important business decision yet for not one, but two of basketball’s brightest young stars.