Two months after parting ways with his agent, Dwight Howard has chosen a new one – Dan Fegan, who also landed No. 1 pick John Wall this summer.
Howard, 24, is at a crossroads in his career as the Magic try to surround him with the right kind of talent to begin winning championships. He also won’t be a free agent until after a new – and likely owner-friendly – collective bargaining agreement is adopted. Fegan’s second significant score of the summer solidified him as “one of the most powerful agents out there,” one team executive said upon hearing of the Howard addition Sunday. Fegan also is a well-versed participant in the ongoing CBA negotiations that could dramatically affect Howard’s on-court earning potential. Unlike this summer’s crop of free agents, who can land one more massive pay day under the current CBA, Howard and other young stars face uncertainty as owners aim to take a substantial bite out of the salaries paid to the highest-earning players.
“Dwight wanted to be represented in the CBA talks,” a person close to the Magic center said.
But what Howard was really looking for was an out-of-the-box, full-service and long-term approach to on- and off-court marketing, according to a one of Howard’s close advisors. Fegan also is now backed by the international clout and deep pockets of the French media giant Lagardere, which recently bought Fegan’s powerful BEST agency and renamed it Lagardere Unlimited.
“Dwight is an iconic superstar with an authentic brand and global appeal,” Fegan told CBSSports.com. “Of course, our team is ecstatic that he chose us.”
Howard parted ways in April with agent Aaron Goodwin, who had represented the All-Star center since he was selected No. 1 overall by the Magic in 2004. While Howard has been criticized for failing to develop his offensive game and for lacking the killer instinct to lead his team to titles, there is no doubting his marketability. In fact, one person with close ties to Howard said he was swayed by Fegan’s vision for following a strategy similar to agent Lon Rosen’s long-range plan for Magic Johnson when he played for the Lakers. A significant portion of Johnson’s career earnings have come from business relationships that Rosen helped him establish in the prime of his career, and they continue to pay off to this day. Rosen, also at Lagardere, will be part of the team representing Howard.
“I just felt that the marketing and agent team at Lagardere Unlimited was a great fit for executing my overall business plan,” Howard said in a statement to CBSSports.com.