Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baseball agents know how to pitch as well as their clients

Pay attention, personality publicists. If you want to see how to negotiate a contract through willing journalists, it's time to pay attention to the back pages of the tabloids.

Not surprisingly, today's New York Post carried the first excellent example. Relief pitcher Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez's agent Paul Kinzer played Mets beat writer Bart Hubbich perfectly just before free agency season opens after midnight tonight, using the exact approach and similar phrasing I discussed just last week.

K-Rod's agent told The Post yesterday that Rodriguez is excited about the Mets and considers them "a good fit" among the four teams supposedly hottest in pursuit of the strikeout artist.

"K-Rod's pitched in high-pressure games, he's been in a pretty big market since he was 19 years old and thrives on it," said agent Paul Kinzer, who wouldn't name the other three clubs interested in his client. "New York and the Mets are very attractive to him."

Those two paragraphs alone are a text book example of how to play the game and get all your key messages in the shortest amount of space.
  • Said client would be a "good fit" in New York - CHECK. New York teams have the biggest payrolls in the sport, so just aim right for the top by planting an item in the local market.
  • Said client can thrive in high pressure games and has worked in "a pretty big market" - CHECK. Let the press quote your client's qualifications. After all, you are pitching as much as your client does for a living!
  • Don't name the other teams who you say are interested in your client - CHECK. Make it seem that your client is desired by many, driving up interest and hopefully the payday at the same time.

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