Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Coaches give K.C. agency thumbs up

'Powerhouse' firm offers clients 'whole package'


The idea started more than a year ago, when a lawyer and an agent were discussing two of their clients, North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams and Southern Cal football coach Pete Carroll.

Bob Lattinville, the sports law chairman of Kansas City-based Stinson Morrison Hecker, realized that he and Gary Uberstine of Premier Sports & Entertainment could help each other out in a merged role - officially.

"We kept sharing more and more information, and it was obvious to me that Premier Sports, not surprisingly, had some really good marketing and media entertainment contacts - which is an opportunity for collateral income for coaches," Lattinville said. "We had a considerable amount of technical expertise, particularly in regard to NCAA matters, any tampering policies with regard to professional coaches, and tax issues.

"We thought, 'Boy, we would make a more rounded and complete offering if we combined forces.'"

The result is Premier Stinson Sports, a self-described "powerhouse coaching agency" which represents high-profile coaches across the country. Kansas University women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson is represented by Lattinville and will have the opportunity to use Uberstine's marketing expertise in the future if she wants to, though she said she hasn't looked into it yet.

Other coaches who could potentially benefit from the merger include Williams, the former KU men's basketball coach who's represented by Stinson attorney and former KU law school dean Mike Davis.

The KU ties don't end there - another Stinson attorney is Zach Hemenway, the son of KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway.

Premier Stinson Sports debuted last month to positive feedback from its clients, which also include Carroll and Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin.

"I think they really like the idea that they're tied into a much larger network," Lattinville said. "One of the challenges in the coaching market as opposed to when you have unionized sports is, there's not as much information out there, and there's a lot of misinformation out there.

"If you've got folks that have a large client base, you have access to considerably more information than you otherwise would. It's easier for you to negotiate contracts and find opportunities because of the additional information."

Lattinville used a hypothetical example of a coach drawing extra income by finding a wardrobe sponsor for his weekly television show. With Uberstine's marketing contacts, it's easier to land such a deal.

"That's the type of activity that a traditional law firm just doesn't do a lot of work in," Lattinville said.

Lattinville and Uberstine's convergence may be considered innovative in the world of sports representation. In the end, they hope its beneficial to the 75-plus coaches they work for.

"There are some other coaching practices out there that focus primarily on generating collateral income for their clients and marketing opportunities. Then there are other law firms that focus on representing coaches," Lattinville said. "To my knowledge, nobody's put the whole package together yet."


FlaHawk 12 years, 3 months ago

Coach Bonnie has used them to her favor with KU! Talk about getting big $$$ per win at KU!

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