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Labor and Agents: Matt Baldwin makes next step a Priority

Matt Baldwin played center for the Rice University football team, but he had let go of any dreams of playing in the NFL before he went to law school.

“I know I got scouted, but you know, it wasn’t in the cards,” Baldwin said. “When I finished playing, I had different things going through my head about what I might want to do. I was literally thinking about international law or environmental law.”

Then he got a phone call from Jeremy Bates, the quarterback he snapped the ball to in college, and it changed the course of his life. Bates, the son of longtime NFL coach Jim Bates, had a job opportunity to coach in the NFL and he wanted his old center, then a law student, to represent him. 

That call led to Baldwin interning for Jim Bates’ agent, Gary O’Hagan, in 2003, and ultimately led to Baldwin becoming a football coaches agent.

Now with Priority Sports, Matt Baldwin represents about 70 clients.priority sports

Baldwin joined Priority Sports earlier this year, after most recently working at Sportfive for five years. Sportfive last year divested its football business, which led to NFL agent Joel Segal joining WME Sports. The decision also made Baldwin a free agent. After talking with several agencies, Baldwin decided to join Priority, a Chicago-based firm that has a large NFL and NBA player representation practice, as well as a practice for pro and college coaches, front office personnel and broadcasters.

“We are selective about it, but when we see a real opportunity to add great value, we jump on it,” said Mark Bartelstein, Priority founder and CEO. “Matt has an elite level of expertise and experience, and will be a great addition.”

Baldwin represents about 70 clients, including both NFL and college football coaches and executives. Clients include Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips, Carolina Panthers defensive pass game coordinator Steve Wilks, Ohio University head football coach Tim Albin, and Kansas State Athletic Director Gene Taylor.

Phillips’ and Wilks’ jobs are new and Baldwin negotiated them since joining Priority in February. He also negotiated a deal to reunite Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers with quarterbacks coach Tom Clements earlier this year. Clements had been the Packers’ quarterbacks coach from 2006-11 and the offensive coordinator and then assistant head coach from 2012-16, but had been out of coaching and living in Los Angeles since 2020.

“Yes, Rodgers wanted him back,” Baldwin said. “Packers made him the highest-paid QB coach in the NFL,” Baldwin added, but would not disclose the terms.

CAA NAMES DISHAW HEAD OF MLB MARKETING: CAA Sports has promoted MLB player marketing agent Marissa Dishaw to the newly created position of head of baseball marketing and client management.

Dishaw will oversee 10 employees and report to CAA Baseball co-heads Jeff Berry, Nez Balelo, Andrew Nacario, Ryan Hamill and Matt Ricatto. Dishaw joined CAA in 2009 after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in political science. She graduated from the agency’s famous agent trainee program in 2010.

Dishaw has worked with star baseball clients, including Los Angeles Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, recently retired San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, and former New York Mets and now Angels pitcher Noah Syndergaard.

“Marissa led the negotiations on all of Buster Posey’s off-the-field endorsements, helping him become the most marketed player in MLB, and has been integral in architecting Shohei Ohtani’s endorsement portfolio in the U.S., including his recent agreement with FTX,” Hamill said.

Dishaw will oversee client relations while also identifying new off-the-field business opportunities.  

VAYNERSPORTS HIRES LONG: VaynerSports has hired MLBPA-certified agent Jaron Long, who most recently worked for Boras Corp.

Long is the son of Philadelphia Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long. Jaron Long was a pitcher and played in the Yankees and Nationals organizations prior to becoming an agent. He will be based out of Scottsdale, Ariz., where he will recruit and represent players. He will report to VaynerSports co-CEO and MLB agent Greg Genske.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.

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