Nike sets up agency for sports stars

Nike is setting up a fully integrated talent agency to service its sports stars, which will challenge the monopoly of sports agencies.

The new division will handle the business affairs of its clients and could ultimately negotiate sports contracts with clubs on their behalf.

Nike has endorsement deals with a whole range of stars like basketball legend Michael Jordan, footballers Ian Wright and Eric Cantona, and sprinter Michael Johnson. But no deals with these players have yet been struck with the new division.

This move represents a threat to the dominance of sports agents and sports agencies like Mark McCormack’s International Management Group and the newly formed partnership between Advantage International and Alan Pascoe Inter- national forged by Interpublic Group.

The company will be able to give athletes the kind of security offered by the biggest sports agencies, but will take less commission from its clients. Sports marketing agencies typically charge 30 per cent commission.

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