I recently got an interesting email from Craig Gould, a sports artist based out of Dallas Texas. This was in the body of the message:
I have been painting for years, but I have just recently decided to pursue it as a full-time profession. After some recent brainstorming and research of the market for sports art, it is evident that I would be better served being represented by a sports agent than an art gallery or art agent. I am in need of marketing to the local sports community: teams, athletes and their charities. I need assistance getting the meetings with teams for art to be used for programs, tickets, promotions and merchandise. There is a market for selling original artwork of athletes for themselves, their charities and gifts for teammates. There is a market for limited edition prints signed by athletes for sell through art galleries, memorabilia shops and wholesale distributors. I need help getting the appropriate sports media exposure to generate demand for my work. For a modern artist, it would be a matter of beating the streets and finding the right gallery. In my case, being able to work with someone that can tap an extended network of athlete and team contacts would enable the business to grow rapidly.
I know it’s a little out of the box, but who thought that big name athletes would be signing with Creative Artists? I look at it as an opportunity to develop merchandise for your sports client in house. One of the biggest names in sports art these days is a guy by the name of Stephen Holland. The sell of his originals and limited edition prints signed by the athletes is pulling in $2.5-3M/year. His agent is also Muhammad Ali’s agent and they have done a litany of art releases of Ali, so there’s a case for creating synergy.
So, is a decent sports agent going to think outside the box and consider representing me? If so, who comes to mind? I live in Dallas and have a pretty extensive Cowboys portfolio, so it would be nice to find someone local who represents local athletes.
I responded back to Craig, who has a website displaying some of his artwork at www.craiggould.com, telling him that I did not think that I personally could be of service to him in the capability that he suggests. But do you think that there are sports agents who would be interested in taking on a client like Craig? Would Craig be better served looking at a different entity to represent his talents, or should a sports agent that may have marketing experience take a shot on a guy like Craig?