David Falk's list of clients reads like a who's who of the sporting world. The 50-year-old chairman and CEO of SFX Sports Group has worked major deals for Michael Jordan and many other mega-athletes, such as Alonzo Mourning, Patrick Ewing, Elton Brand, and James Lofton. Along the way, Falk's company has redefined the sports marketing business by landing its athletes multimillion-dollar contracts with the likes of Nike, Gatorade, General Motors, McDonald's, Coke, Wheaties, and AT&T. Michael Jordan the athlete became Michael Jordan Inc. with a big helping hand from David Falk.
It's no secret that there is big money to be made in sports marketing these days, and no one knows this better than Falk. SFX Sports Group is now a 12-city international enterprise composed of the top management and marketing agencies in the world; together, they reported $150 million in revenue last year. But even in the midst of all this money, it's people skills that still rule Falk's business: persuasion, persistence, fair play. For evidence, look no further than last year's trade of Patrick Ewing from the New York Knicks to the Seattle SuperSonics, a deal so complicated that it proves Falk's negotiating prowess and stick-to-it-'til-it's-done ethos.
Now, Falk is working to expand his golf division - as if the addition of Greg Norman and John Daly to his client roster isn't enough. Falk feels that part of SFX Sports Group's future lies in the sport of golf, so he is looking not only for golfers to represent, but also to acquire golf-management and course-design companies that he feels would fit well under the SFX Sports Group umbrella.