Guy Oseary, the former record company executive whose personal management stable includes Madonna, has signed his first athlete, Alex Rodriguez.
The New York Yankees third baseman, considered by many to be the game’s top player, has signed with Oseary, who personally manages Lenny Kravitz and magician David Blaine in addition to Madonna. He is also a partner in Untitled Entertainment, whose clients include Hilary Swank, Penelope Cruz, Naomi Watts and Ashton Kutcher.
“He’s focusing on baseball and needs someone whose interests are aligned,” Oseary told Daily Variety, explaining the rare move of an athlete signing with a manager whose expertise is music and film. “This is to help him have more control of his image and brand.”
A-Rod recently won his third American League MVP crown and famously renegotiated his most recent contract with the Yankees over the last two months. News that Rodriguez was opting out of his contract with the Yankees was announced by his former agent, Scott Boras, and leaked out during game four of this year’s World Series; the timing of the news was seen as an act of poor taste.
Rodriguez quickly dropped Boras and, after seeking the advice of investment guru Warren Buffett, negotiated a 10-year, $275 million deal to continue playing with the Yanks. On Sunday’s broadcast of “60 Minutes,” Rodriguez said he was upset with the way Boras handled the announcement.
Oseary had no dealings with Rodriguez during those negotiations. He said he had no immediate plans for the baseball all-star, but that he would be looking at “all opportunities.”
Rodriguez is overwhelmingly the best-paid player in baseball, owing, in part, to a deal made with the Texas Rangers in 2000 that dwarfed every other contract in Major League Baseball. If he plays out his 10-year deal and retires at 42, he will have earned $445 million from salary alone over his 24 years in the majors.
“As I embark on this new chapter in my career, I know that I have found in Guy Oseary someone who is aligned with my interests and who has earned a lot of respect in the entertainment industry,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
Oseary made his mark first as the chief of Maverick Records, which began as Madonna’s boutique label and became one of Warner Music’s hit-making imprints with albums by a stable including Alanis Morissette.
In 2005, he became Madonna’s manager, helping guide her 2006 “Confessions Tour” and then negotiating her $100 million deal with Live Nation for her future music-related business.
While a miniscule number of NFL and NBA players have made inroads into entertainment and other non-playing opportunities, Major League Baseball players have not been as fortunate. Very few have had national endorsement deals over the last couple of decades, and the sport has been clouded in recent years by the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez, however, is in a rare league of athletes who are household names, play at the peak of their powers for years and have never experienced serious off-the-field troubles.
“Obviously, there are a tremendous amount of opportunities for Alex,” Oseary said. “It’s about him having someone who he respects who can look at endless possibilities. I don’t look at any one area — and these are areas he has not explored.”
Oseary is also an exec producer on FX’s “The Riches” and NBC’s “Last Call With Carson Daly.”