It’s a long horse race. It doesn’t matter where you are at the quarter pole or halfway pole. It doesn’t matter who breaks out of the pack first. What matters is who finishes the race first. This philosophy was not only helpful, but it was essential in guiding David Falk through the difficult fortuitous circumstances that impeded him on his road to becoming the Agent that singlehandedly restructured the way contract negotiations were run in the NBA.
“It allowed me to absorb near-term setbacks because I was committed to the long-term plan. It’s easier not to compromise long-term interests for short-term gains when you have a longer view. It’s about rhythm, pace, and patience.” stated Falk in his autobiography The Bald Truth.
The business man behind Michael Jordan, Falk proved to be equipped with a barrage of innovative marketing idea. He signed the first signature shoe deal, allowed Nike to establish Jordan’s primary image, then began marketing him in other ventures including Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Ball Park Franks, Wilson Sporting Goods, Wheaties, Hanes, etc.
Michael Jordan, in an interview with USA Today, on Falk:
“A lot of people don’t like David, but he’s the best at what he does. What he does is get underneath your skin, whoever he’s negotiating with, because he figures out what your objectives are, your angles. He understands the market; he understands the players. He’s a brash, arrogant, egotistical, aggressive negotiator, which is good, because when you have someone represent you, you want him to do that. Marketing-wise, he’s great. He’s the one who came up with the concept of ‘Air Jordan.”
Falk graduated from Syracuse University in 1972 with a degree in Economics and went on to finish his education at George Washington Law School in 1975.
In 2008, Falk made a donation that aided in the creation of the David B. Falk Center of Sport Management at Syracuse University. His most recent transaction with Syracuse University came in March, when he donated a lofty $15 million to fund programs in Sport Management and Public Health. In return, the College of Human Ecology will be named The David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.
Falk’s gift will help elevate the reputation of the college.
-Diane Lyden Murphy, currently dean of the College of Human Ecology.
Falk’s impression on the NBA, the marketing industry for professional athletes, and on aspiring agents, such as myself, has been monumental and now his presence will resonate through students at Syracuse University in Public Health and Sport Management programs. ♦