NEW YORK, July 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- VaynerSports Chair Gary Vaynerchuk announced agency expansion into baseball this morning as veteran MLB agent Greg Genske and the GEM Agency join VaynerSports, effective immediately.
"Today is a marquee moment in the world of athlete representation as we expand our offering into the world of baseball. When you add someone with the negotiation-savvy of Greg to the disruption my brother AJ and I bring, along with Mike Neligan's success marketing high-profile athletes, you create an absolute force to be reckoned with," said Gary Vaynerchuk.
Previously a football-only agency, VaynerSports will now represent talent across the National Football League and Major League Baseball.
Genske, one of the most prominent and successful agents over the past 20 years, will serve as CEO of the newly formed VaynerBaseball. He will be joined by COO Joe Mizzo and agents Eric Izen, Alex Hicks, and former All-Star-turned-agent Vernon Wells, amongst others. The GEM Agency brings to VaynerSports more than 50 years of combined experience with multiple record-setting contracts - including Wells' own $126 million then-record deal for a center fielder - and an industry-best four salary arbitration victories over the past five years. Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Third Baseman Justin Turner will join VaynerBaseball along with several other MLB and Minor League clients.
"I'm excited to be joining forces with Gary and the VaynerSports Team," said Genske. "Gary's visionary branding and marketing expertise will allow the concept behind the creation of GEM to flourish and provide our clients with access to a portfolio of services unmatched in the player representation industry."
Gary's brother, AJ Vaynerchuk, an NFL agent, will continue as CEO and focus primarily on VaynerFootball along with veteran agents Brian McLaughlin, Tommy Sims, and Brandon Parker. Parker, the son of the late football agent pioneer Eugene Parker, represents Pro Bowlers Allen Robinson of the Chicago Bears and Leonard Williams of the New York Giants.
"Over the years, we have been approached countless times to expand beyond football on account of our current success in sports and brand equity in business. We have been steadfast in waiting for the right people and right opportunity. Fortunately, that time is now with Greg and GEM," said AJ Vaynerchuk.
"It has long been our vision to be one of the best multisport agencies in the world. The merger with Greg and GEM is a big win. I look forward to leveraging our combined resources to help each group grow and continue to deliver for all our clients," said Brandon Parker.
In the fall of 2019, talent marketing expert Mike Neligan joined to lead sales and marketing efforts and scale the agency. One of his first conversations was with Genske, about what he thought VaynerBaseball could be. Prior to joining, Neligan spent nearly 15 years working with baseball players including Derek Jeter, Clayton Kershaw and Dexter Fowler. Neligan and Genske built a friendship after years competing against each other and now join forces to provide an unrivaled set of services for top professional athletes. Neligan will serve as Executive Vice President within the parent company and continue to look for growth opportunities outside of just the two sports.
"I've been fortunate throughout my career to work with some great people and superstar athletes, but this is truly the dream opportunity. In just a few months, I've seen what the 'Vayner Difference' is and I'm thrilled to be able to work with Greg to bring that value to athletes across multiple sports, including baseball where I've spent most of my career," said Mike Neligan.
VaynerSports will now have agents and offices in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco with the headquarters and Vaynerchuks in Hudson Yards in New York City.
For more information on VaynerSports, please reach out to Hayley Cohen, PR, at [email protected].