Jan
20

What would you do…? (#4)

What would you do?I apologize for the hiatus, but I hope to deliver an exciting hypo for everybody to discuss in the fourth edition of this column.

One of your clients is a starting QB in the NFL. We will call him Willie Smoke. Willie is a third-year player who led his team to the AFC Championship game last season and topped it off by sipping Mai Tais in Honolulu at the Pro Bowl. Smoke’s stellar performance has led to many accolades and he has really enjoyed rising to the top of his sport.

Off the field, Smoke has been soaking up the attention and basking in the glory. In addition to granting countless media interviews, he is always going to the clubs and taking advantage of the many fringe benefits that come along with being a famous athlete.

Unfortunately, Smoke’s love of the better things in life has started to detract from his play on the field. Team officials have alerted you that on a few occasions, Smoke has showed up late to team meetings and has appeared lackadaisical in practice. They are worried that Smoke has lost his focus and his game performance will start to suffer if he keeps it up at this rate.

They ask you, as his agent, to have a sit-down with Smoke and talk some sense into him. You reassure team officials that you will take care of the issue and get Smoke back on track.

It not as easy as it seems though, and in the end, this may be an empty promise.

What the team officials do not know is that Smoke has become extremely aggravated with you in the past when you attempted to counsel him about his private affairs. This is not the first time that Smoke has had issues that started to affect his game. The last time you called Smoke out for misbehaving, he responded by cursing you and telling you to mind your own business. He reminded you that the only reason he hired you was to take care of his contracts and secure endorsements, not to tell him how to live his life. He admonished you for trying to intervene and warned you that he will find another agent if you ever badger him like this again. Believe me, he tells you, “there are plenty of other agents that would be glad to represent me. I’m worth millions.” The message is loud and clear— buzz off or I’m out.

What was once an occasional issue for Smoke has deteriorated into a pattern of slip-ups. It is time for some serious counseling. Let’s face it, Smoke is a sex addict, and only professional intervention will remedy his addictive behavior.

You have to get Smoke enrolled in professional counseling immediately to save his career. At the same time, you are deeply afraid that he will tell you to get lost and you will end up losing the player that helped your agency rise to the top. To make matters worse, you do not want to hurt your credibility with team officials if you fail to live up to your promise.

What would you do…?

  • Austin

    This is an easy one. I would follow Leigh Stienberg’s philosophy as staed in “Winning with Integrity” and let him go as a client. An agent needs to align themselves with good people. People that have the same values as themselves and are willing to be professionals and a good person in general. If you say nothing in this instance your star quaterback will run himself into the ground and himself out of the league and you will be left without a client and a tarnished reputation. So, for the sake of you and your client you should sit him down, demand consuling and if he fires you as his agent at least you have a good name in the industry that will last longer than his career, your values and a good conscience. If you have done a good job on his contract negotiation and securing endorsements up to that point other clients will come soon enough. Do not sell yourself short.

  • Shawn

    You make Smoke know he’s not going to be “worth millions” in the near future. Make sure he’s well aware of the Ricky Williams and Pac Man Jones of the world and that contracts end and money runs out, then he is left with nothing but a ruined career, reputation, and an empty walley … none of which goes well with his current lifestyle choice. Thus, if he doesn’t tone it down, he’s only hurting himself.

    I would then make Smoke my focus. I would eat, sleep, and breathe his relationship with team officials and his off the field activities. You would need to inform Smoke that he is correct in his value to you, however, you are just as much an asset to him. The fact that his off the field actions are becoming public could actually work in your favor. I would use it with some good PR spin. You have an athlete possibly on the decline both on and off the field. You could cut your ties with him, thus proving your real intentions that your own “bottom line” is more important or you could put him # 1 and work through it. By choosing the latter, you are showing your real dedication to your client, keeping a good relationship with the team and proving to other non-clients (many who have problems) that you are more than the typical agent. Prove that you build a bond with your clients that goes beyond the contract. Clients are like family, you should treat them that way.

  • chris

    honestly, it isn’t my issue. i work for smoke, smoke works for the team. if they have an issue with how he is acting then it should be up to them to deal with him, if you have a personal issue that is a different story.

    it’s like being a vice-president of sales and your ceo not happy with your performance and having one of your sales associates talk to you about it.

  • Derek

    You need to sit down and talk with Smoke and tell him that if he keeps up with this behavior than his team is going to lose faith in him and he could be waveing his millions goodbye. If he fires you than you just have to face facts that if he dosent want to listen to your advice and what the team is telling him then he wasnt the right client for you

  • agent101

    as a agent you do what your client wants, some clients want advice, some dont, In this case all smoke wants is his contract and secure endosements i would rather give a client what he wants, if the agent already talked to smoke about counseling than why would he talk about it again knowing smoke will get mad, remember smoke put his agency on the map what would it look like if he fired the agent