Wasserman finds more business in Paralympic space

Wasserman finds more business in Paralympic space

By Ben Fischer, Staff Writer


Wasserman has signed Paralympic champions Becca Meyers and Alana Nichols to representation contracts, another step toward building a regular business in the Paralympics.

Meyers, who won three swimming gold medals as an amateur last year in Rio, recently turned pro and signed an endorsement deal with Speedo. Nichols, a Paralympic veteran who became the first American to win golds in both the Winter and Summer Games, is attempting a comeback to qualify for Pyeongchang 2018 in alpine skiing.

Meyers said she chose Wasserman because of its track record in representing socially or politically active athletes. “They are also passionate about embracing different cultures and helping athletes from different sports and backgrounds make a difference,” she said.

Nichols hadn’t yet decided to pursue Pyeongchang when she signed and was looking for an agency to help her develop opportunities in speaking, commentary and writing that would extend into retirement. “Their open-mindedness in helping me develop my brand and my business as an athlete was really important to me,” Nichols said.

Dan Levy, Wasserman’s senior vice president of Olympics and women, called the Paralympics a natural extension of the agency’s emphasis on cause-driven athletes, such as fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first U.S. Olympian to compete in a hijab, and members of the U.S. women’s national teams in soccer and hockey, who have fought for pay equity.

“We started with this altruistic attitude of ‘let’s help athletes do more and we’ll follow their lead,’ but then we realized, we’re actually generating a decent amount of revenue from opportunities attached to that,” Levy said.

Lindsay Kagawa Colas, also senior vice president of Olympics and women also will work with the Paralympians.

In commercial terms, the Paralympics are still small potatoes compared to the Olympics, but opportunities have expanded rapidly this decade as brands discover that Paralympians often have compelling personal stories that resonate. Wasserman currently represents one other Paralympic athlete, two-time judo bronze medalist Dartanyon Crockett, and would like to expand the roster, Levy said.