Friday, April 21, 2000
Steinberg has big plansBy Pat Bigold
for UH marketing
Now that "Jerry Maguire'' is steering the University of Hawaii's marketing ship, he plans to check out uncharted waters.
"We're very bullish on the prospects here,'' said Leigh Steinberg, the high-powered sports agent upon whose life story the popular Tom Cruise movie was based .
Steinberg's firm of Steinberg, Moorad & Dunn yesterday formalized a $100,000-a-year, five-year deal with the university's athletic program.
He is sending a full-time consultant to set up shop as early as Monday on the lower campus. He will be here later next week.
Steinberg said his firm, which represents some of the world's highest profile athletes, will serve as both a consultant and as a business agent for the athletic department run by Hugh Yoshida.
"As a consultant, it would involve us doing work on a ton of projects, including how UH structures its marketing department, conference issues in terms of where the teams ought to be, (Aloha) Stadium issues, potential coaching searches, and scheduling issues'' said Steinberg during an interview from his car phone in Los Angeles yesterday.
Ticket sales, collegiate licensing and potentially lucrative promotional projects are also in the picture.
Steinberg will research whether Hawaii belongs in the Western Athletic Conference or in another conference.
"We're taking a fresh look at that," said Steinberg. "Are they in the best conference for them? Does it make sense? Are there alternatives?"
From the standpoint of being an agent, Steinberg said he is working on a major shoe and apparel deal, believed to be with either Reebok or Nike.
Steinberg also said he wants to secure unprecedented national TV exposure for the revitalized Rainbows football program, coached by his longtime client, June Jones.
"We want to try to land TV deals for the football team, with the thinking they play in a rather unique time slot - the last game of the day,'' he said. "We want to see if we can do a Notre Dame-type of deal where they're on every week on some network.
"We're going to try to get the Rainbow Classic back on TV and find corporate sponsorships."
Steinberg confirmed that the athletic department will be able to sell from its own outlets apparel bearing the names and numbers of marquee Rainbow and Wahine athletes.
Ka Leo O Hawaii