Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has signed on as a client of the William Morris Agency, one of the premiere agencies in Hollywood. The move is a clear attempt by A-Rod to heighten his profile on Madison Avenue and boost his income from endorsements. Though Rodriguez is the highest-paid player in baseball, his money from off-the-field activities is decidedly lacking; some reports say he pulls in less than $2 million from deals with Nike and Rawlings. He had deals with a handful of other companies but they’ve expired.
William Morris describes itself as a “talent and literary” agency, and indeed, its client list is largely made up of movie stars (John Travolta, Natalie Portman) directors (Quentin Tarantino, Mel Gibson) and musicians (Britney Spears, The Killers, Sean Combs.) In the past few years it has grabbed a few high-profile athletes — most notably Michelle Wie — and has also partnered with the U.S. Olympic Committee. But it could use a big impact player like A-Rod if it wants to be seen as a serious player in the sports world. And A-Rod needs all the help he can get to boost his image, especially since its taken a hit with reports of his divorce and alleged infidelity.