Yasiel Puig signs marketing deal
"We're definitely going to capitalize on his rise," said Radegen Sports president Alex Radetsky, whose New York-based company also represents David Ortiz and Jose Bautista. "But we're not going to rush, and he's not going to sell out."
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Since making his Major League Baseball debut early last month, the 22-year-old Cuban defector whom the Dodgers signed to a seven-year, $42 million deal, has impressed. He's batting .391 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs and narrowly missed being selected by fans to represent the National League in the All-Star Game.
Despite his short stint in the league, a host of sports marketers were hot after the prospect, though interest from Jay-Z's new firm, Roc Nation Sports, appears to have been overstated. Puig was spotted last month at the hip-hop mogul's party for the 10th anniversary of his New York City sports bar, 40/40.
Radetsky said he believes his work with Latino players including Ortiz and Batista as well as Pedro Martinez, Mariano Rivera and Vladimir Guerrero helped seal the deal with Puig, who already has the 10th-best selling jersey in Major League Baseball, according to sales released by MLB.com.
Besides a Nike deal, which has one more season on it, Puig has a clean slate. Radetsky said his autograph deal will be run by California-based JD Legends Promotions, a firm that has managed the signings of many Dodgers players.
Radetsky said he is currently in discussions to secure a glove and bat deal for his client.
Radetsky says he believes Puig could be used by U.S. companies hoping to reach the growing Hispanic population. According to the federal government, 24 percent of the U.S. population under the age of 17 in 2012 was Hispanic.