Greg Oden’s First Endorsement Should Be For Hand Sanitizer
Back on May 25th, only one day after I returned from the Holy Land (Israel), I pondered whether the Portland Trail Blazers should select Greg Oden or Kevin Durant based on more than just their playing skills [Who Will Blaze The Trail?]. At the time, I was led to believe that Greg Oden looked older than LeBron James (which is true) and acted older than a Jewish grandmother. Non-conventional wisdom told me that maybe Kevin Durant would be a smarter pick for the Trail Blazers, even if he was not at the same playing level of Oden. I still believe that a team would have an additional benefit by taking the more fan-appreciative personality, but I am no longer sure that Kevin Durant is that man.
Everyone all the way to Thailand is aware that the Portland Trail Blazers selected Greg Oden with their number one pick. Jim Gatto, NBA sports marketing manager for Adidas, feels that Durant has more to offer than Oden. Since writing the post on May 25, I no longer agree with that statement. Since that point, Greg Oden has opened up to the world through his Yardbarker blog and displayed his great humor at the NBA Draft [YouTube video]. But the man who has known that he would go #1 for a long time now may have not always had such a shining personality. The tactic that he used should be duplicated by agents who have future star clients in need of some personality training.
What exactly did Greg Oden do? He hired funny actor and sports media consultant at Game On, Steve Shenbaum. Steve helped develop Oden’s character leading up to his spotlight at the NBA Draft [With a little help, Oden’s prepped for media’s game]. Did it work? I would definitely say so. BDA Sports has an ongoing relationship with Shenbaum. Other agents should learn from what Duffy has been doing for a long time to have some of his clients break out of their shells.
“When you’re an athlete like Greg Oden or Pete Sampras, and the media calls you boring or robotic, that hurts.”
Why not provide your clients with the tools to avoid such situations? If you have a big name guy/girl who could use some personality preparation before the media begins to harass, go with a company like Game On. The price will be well worth it.