Earlier this week, it was reported that Alvin Keels, a young (early thirties) and successful NFL agent who was President of Global Management Group, merged with a new startup firm, Corporate Athletic Management. Keels has a unique story. He started his own agency at the age of twenty one and had a client drafted by the NFL one year later.
Keels got a lot of press on this website last year for his representation of Andre Smith. Smith signed Keels, then fired him for Priority Sports, and then signed Keels back. Rick Smith of Priority Sports was pissed. The latest news on Keels is that he is in the process of trying to acquire a commission he believes he deserves, based on his representation of Larry Johnson when Johnson signed a contract with $19 million in guaranteed money before Keels dropped Johnson as a client (usually it is the other way around with an athlete dropping an agent).
Alvin Keels has had a lot of success in the world of athlete representation up to this point. I find it interesting that he has decided to join forces with another agency. I couldn’t find any information on Corporate Athletic Management, but even the NFLPA website lists Keels as a part of the company at this point.
Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal was able to figure out some additional pieces of the puzzle. She says that Corporate Athletic Management is owned by a holding firm called Onyx Sports International, which based in Fairfield Connecticut. Mullen also has information that Corporate Athletic Management is looking into growing its practice to represent athletes in other sports as well..
An interesting note – Lou Ceruzzi of Ceruzzi Sports and Entertainment Group, is a silent investor in Onyx. The same Ceruzzi Sports that represents Jeff Pendergraph and was under investigation by the NBPA for donating $300,000 to the Southern California All-Stars AAU program in an attempt to represent Kevin Love.
Global Management Group’s website, http://gmgsports.com/, is no longer in service. Keels is now a team player.