Sports Capital Group is a Weston, Florida-based football agency run by athlete agent Jonathan Kline. Kline is a graduate of the University of Miami and its School of Law, and a member of a variety of sports and entertainment law associations. On his football agency’s website, he states, “We do not employ runners, recruiters or middlemen. We simply offer you the best services, knowledge, and individual attention available.” While runners, recruiters or middlemen may not be involved in Sports Capital Group’s operation, it appears that a heavy use of Twitter as a recruiting vehicle is a key component. At least based on yesterday’s “Tweet-scapade”
I was tipped off about the Sports Capital Group’s Twitter account by football agent Jerry Marlatt of 1st Team Sports Group, who sent me the following Tweet:
Soliciting clients via social media? I had to check it out for myself. Lo and behold, the Sports Capital Group Twitter account was sending out Tweet after Tweet asking NFL players to “please contact us regarding your future NFL representation,” included the agency’s phone number, and concluded with, “Look forward to hearing from you”. At the time, the account had sent over 50 Tweets. As of publishing this article, all of those “recruiting pitch Tweets” have been deleted. But not before a screenshot of a sample of those Tweets was taken.
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) January 9, 2013
Those 4 Tweets were sent to Buffalo Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman, defensive lineman Spencer Johnson, quarterback Tavaris Jackson and running back Tashard Choice. Sports Capital Group calls itself, “the leader in athlete management and representation,” but resorting to sending public Tweets requesting NFL veterans to contact you makes that claim seem like a far cry from the truth. However, the company was sure to inform me that it believed its actions were not a violation of NFL Players Association rules and regulations.
Rules violation or not, the football agent community is up in arms. One agent stated, “wow, not only is that desperate, that’s dumb” and informed me that he was taking screenshots of the Tweets to his company’s clients to pass along to their General Counsel “for laughs at least.” Other agents reacted publicly on Twitter, including Ryan Earls of Cover 3 Representation who said the following:
I spoke to Kline off Twitter, who was less than thrilled that I exposed his Tweets. But the reality is that he delivered them publicly on a platform that is meant for sharing. Recruit on Twitter and expect people to see it.