Hernandez situation highlights potential dilemma for sports agencies

On Friday, Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez appeared on the cover of the Boston Herald wearing a Muscle Milk hat and an Athletes First hoodie.

That same day, the maker of Muscle Milk cut him loose as an endorser.  Athletes First hasn’t — and likely won’t — sever ties with Hernandez.

Even if the firm founded by Dave Dunn were to part ways with Hernandez, the damage already has occurred.  In multiple photos taken over the past few days, Dunn’s firm has gotten free advertising on a less-than-ideal billboard.

The reality is that plenty of sports agencies generate hats and shirts and other gear.  Most do it without considering the possibility that the gear will show up somewhere the agency wishes it didn’t.  One agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity, explained that the agent’s firm ultimately decided not to distribute clothing and hats bearing the firm’s name.

The discussion, according to the agent, including this observation:  “What is someone robs a bank while wearing our stuff?”

That doesn’t mean it would be a client.  Once gear bearing a firm’s name and/or logo is made and distributed, it can show up anywhere.  For major manufacturers like Nike, UnderArmour, Reebok, and Garanimals (I didn’t want to leave anyone out), it’s unavoidable — and irrelevant.  For a sports agency, it’s an unfortunate and unwanted association.

So at a time when Athletes First likely will demonstrate loyalty to Hernandez, the best way for Hernandez to return the favor would be to not wear Athletes First gear in public.  Or in any eventual mugshots.

31 responses to “Hernandez situation highlights potential dilemma for sports agencies

  1. The great PR Director Zak Gilbert would have to disagree with near sighted Mike Florio. What Mr. Florio fails to understand is that even bad publicity is publicity, and when that bad publicity is free that is even better.

    The great PR Director Zak Gilbert probably would direct Aaron Hernandez to continue to wear Athletes First wear because 1) it is free to Mr Hernandez and 2) it has brought attention to Athletes First.

    After all, before this post 80% of sport fans would have said Athletes First who?

  2. Dammit Aaron. Don’t you realize you are besmirching the impeccable reputation of sports agents here?

    Have some decency, man!

  3. This dude knows something. He needs to man-up, stop being a coward, and come clean with what he knows.

  4. Well what has the firm offered as remuneration for AH’s agreement to not wear their stuff anymore? If they didn’t make an offer then they in effect condone him wearing their stuff as per the terms of their agreement. Unless the firm wants to suggest that AH has done something wrong? Want to take that bait fellas? Then pay me something like you should have the last time I asked you for money. Do you want to see what happens in Round 2 if you don’t ante up soon?

    It’s all part of the NFL game, I mean business. I mean street-dream playground. Too bad AH didn’t have Jay-Z as his agent, he probably would have made this whole mess go away, or at least promised him the security of such. I mean Miale.

  5. Considering the possible crimes for which AH could be charged, the two named sponsors would be relieved if ALL he did was to rob a bank!

  6. dolphinbubs: sorry bro but I think I can speak for Hernandez and everyone on this site:nobody wants to go to jail bro! sorry but I think he gona fight these charges til the end.I think u wld do the same.

  7. Lol @ man up. He should have “manned up” before he or one of his buddies shot the dude to death. If he was a real man, this guy probably wouldn’t be dead.

  8. Well, if somehow the storm clouds clear, Athletes First would have a very compelling private story to tell to future clients about how they deal with crisis. That could be very appealing to certain type of athlete.

  9. @thestrategyexpert

    What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this site is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  10. A wool ski cap and a hooded sweatshirt…In the middle of June. On the 1st day of Summer. In 85 degree weather.

  11. but he’s still got more room to stretch


    Is it just me or is anyone else fed up with males doing yoga?

  12. I don’t think Foed was too happy seeing their Bronco in a low speed chase all over LA with Al Cowlings chauffering OJ back to Brentwood.

  13. Hispanics represent less than one percent of the nfl. Tony Gonzales should have pulled this punk to the side and explained what pride, shame, respect, and life in general on and off the field. Smh, once Tony G Retires, we’re back to hanging our hat on Luis Castillo. Victor Cruz is only half, but he’s still more of a Latino than Mark Sanchez. Haha, AH wasn’t selected for the cover of Madden Espanol was he… #Maddencurseisreal.

  14. This awesome any other franchise I would feel bad for the player, sad a life was lost, but happy a pat is involved. Here’s hoping gronk can’t go at all this season, now Tebow can start !!

  15. I can’t stop shedding tears for these poor, wronged athletic agencies. My heart weeped for the NFL and the Patriots organization. All these “dilemmas” and “minor inconveniences” must make life really hard. Last I checked, Odin Lloyd had a family that loved him, but its soooooo sad that these NFL driven moneypits are facing a minuscule challenge over this catastrophe. May these millionaires find the strength to muster through this devastating turn of events and continue making bountiful self-gains in spite of it. (extreme sarcasm)

  16. He’s going to go to jail, and he deserves to. But this case is going to make it that much harder for kids with troubled backgrounds to break free of their past.

    They’re told from the first time they get into trouble that they need to channel their aggression into something more productive. Hernandez did that, all the way to a set-for-life contract. (Yeah, I know, 80% are broke within whatever… but still….)

    He made his decisions, and he’s accountable, but everyone around him should have been doing more to make it easier for him to be smarter. If Dunn’s agency, and the Patriots, are a little tarnished by all of this, well, they deserve to be.

  17. Yeah, cuz these guys only want to rep real PILLARS of society like Antonia Cromartie , Rae Carruth and Pac Man.
    Give me a break! These freeloaders, who in the end, just mooch off of the success of pro athletes, will take the money any way it comes, no matter who it’s from.

  18. And all along I thought the connection to murder and mayhem was what made the Raiders logo such a commercial success. Of course now it’s more about cheeseburger wrangling country bumpkins plastering big Raiders emblems on their pick-up trucks (30 years too late for it to be cool), than it is about anything to do with a dynamic brand image. So, maybe the advertising concept of death and destruction is not such a good marketing tool after all.

  19. This is not a “DILEMA” at all.

    No publicity is bad publicity for starters.

    And it’s not like no is going to this agency because another client popped a guy.

  20. It’s a good point. After the OJ Simpson incident Ford had to discontinue the Bronco.

    To help everyone put that out of their minds they replaced it with a smaller SUV they named the “Escape”

  21. “After the NFL draft, the Boston Globe reported Hernandez had failed multiple drug tests, perhaps as many as six, while at Florida, which led Hernandez to issue a statement admitting to one failed test that led to the 2008 suspension.”

  22. the idiotic thing is that athletes in trouble, such as hernandez, go around sporting logos from sponsors while the media frenzy is looking to crucify them.

    if this guy had half a brain – which he doesn’t or he would not be in trouble so it’s moot but i’ll make my point anyway – he wouldn’t wear those logos and hope the sponsors let it ride.

    he deserves to get dumped. as if he doesn’t have other hoodies and hats.

    my guess is he did it on purpose to say “look at me! i’m big time! i have sponsors!”

    funny thing is i’ve never heard of them.

    rant over.

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