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Top agents and brand managers share valuable insight at Athlete Management Boot Camp

August 19, 2010 4:39 PM

Press Release: 

ALISO VEJIO, Calif. (August 19, 2010) – On Wednesday, August 18, more than 90 members from more than 30 non-endemic and surf manufacturing companies reported for duty at Athlete Management Boot Camp, presented by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) and with support from Wasserman Media Group.

The room at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, Calif., was packed with surf industry experts and the preeminent managers and agents in the athlete management category, who were engaged in panels, presentations, and question and answer time with panelists. 

"Today's Athlete Management Boot Camp is a great example of what happens when you put a lot of smart people in the same room around a focused subject, and the result is a better-educated industry, which is critical to SIMA's mission," said Doug Palladini, SIMA President and VP of Marketing at Vans. "The agents, attorneys, and brand managers on the dais did an amazing job of synthesizing key issues into action items for our industry to tackle." 

The morning kicked off with a panel discussion titled, “Endemic vs. Non-Endemic Sponsorship.” Palladini moderated the discussion and panelists included: Steve Astephen, Principal of Management and Founder, Wasserman Media Group; Pat O’Connell, Athlete and Vice President of Sports Marketing, Hurley; Mark Price, Industry Veteran and CEO, Firewire Surfboards; and Graham Stapelberg, Vice President of Marketing, Billabong USA.

The “Endemic vs. Non-Endemic Sponsorship” panel addressed the issue of how endemic brands can compete, maintain leadership, and get the best out of their athlete relationships without being overshadowed by non-endemic brands that have the ability to spend an excess amount of money on action sports athletes. The issue of what the appropriate age is to make the leap from amateur to professional status was also discussed.

“The Boot Camp shined some light on these non-endemic sponsorships that will help my athletes in the future,” commented Andrew Marriner, Snow Sales Manager/Snow Team Manager for Billabong USA. “There is no doubt that the game is changing and I am happy to be on the forefront of all of it. The seminar also gave me a better understanding on where we as managers we need to be legality wise.”

Greg Weisman, Partner of Silver and Freedman, then led a dynamic presentation titled, “The New Anatomy of an Endorsement Contract and Hot Button Issues in Athlete Management.” Attendees learned a variety of do’s and don’ts of the endorsement contracts and new trends being seen in athlete endorsements. They also got the inside view of hot button issues facing athletes and their managers today including, but not limited to: how the consolidation of the industry affects athletes; the role of non-endemic sponsorships with top-level athletes; the role of the manager today; what makes a marketable athlete, and why professional athletes go broke. 

Athlete Management Boot Camp wrapped up with a panel titled, “The Proper Care and Feeding of the Agent, Athlete and Team Manager Relationship.” Sean Smith, Executive Director for SIMA, moderated the discussion and panelists included: Steve Astephen, Principal of Management and Founder, Wasserman Media Group; Blair Marlin, Director of Surf, Wasserman Media Group; and Bobby Nichols, President, McClellan Nichols Sports Syndicate.

Attendees asked the panel of top athlete managers a range of questions and the conversation in the room was flowing. How to get the most out of an athlete management/brand relationship, endemic media’s role pertaining to the portrayal of athletes, working with families of athletes, and popular myths and misconceptions of agents and athletes were among many of the questions.

In its third year, SIMA Boot Camps are educational and intimate seminars that aim to provide valuable business tips and tools to help SIMA member companies improve a variety of daily business operations. The Boot Camp seminar topics change from Boot Camp to Boot Camp with the goal of reaching a variety of employees and departments within SIMA member companies. All levels of employees from any department who would benefit from the educational seminars and industry networking time are encouraged to attend. The next Boot Camp will be New Media Boot Camp on September 22 at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, Calif. Visit www.sima.com for more information on upcoming 2010 Boot Camps and registration materials as they become available.

To view photos of Athlete Management Boot Camp, please visit www.sima.com/events/sima-boot-camp/boot-camp-gallery.aspx . To receive information on future Boot Camps, please contact mandy@sima.com. 

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 21 years, SIMA's Environmental Fund has raised more than $5.4 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world's oceans, beaches and waves. The SIMA Humanitarian Fund, also a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, was established in 2006 to award grants to various surf or boardsport related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health and/or welfare of people. For more information on SIMA, please visit www.sima.com. Follow us at Twitter.com/SIMA_SURF.

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