money talks | 

Top sports agent says Brian O’Driscoll can command up to €15k for an after dinner speech

“The highest earner on the platform would be getting maybe €40,000 a year,” explains Sport Endorse co-owner Trevor Twamley.

Trevor Twamley (left) and Declan Bourke

Ex-Ireland Rugby International Brian O'Driscoll during a speech after receiving the Freedom of the City of Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Eugene MastersonSunday World

Ireland’s biggest sports agency is securing big bucks for some of our best-known athletes.

More than 200 GAA stars are on the books of Sport Endorse, which also boasts a number of rugby players, Premier League footballers, basketball figures, runners, Paralympians and others from 90 different disciplines.

Among those who are with Sport Endorse are Nina Carberry, Ronan O’Gara, Amber Barrett, Nicolas Roche, John Egan, Dean Rock, Aaron Gillane, Kieran Donaghy, Lee Keegan, Kevin Kilbane, Emile Heskey and James Lowe.

The company uses a high-tech platform where sportspeople can engage directly with more than 450 brands who want them to promote their products.

“The highest earner on the platform would be getting maybe €40,000 a year, and that goes all the way down to about €3,000,” explains Sport Endorse co-owner Trevor Twamley.

“Traditionally an agency would charge 20 per cent. So, let’s say for example we get you a speaking gig and it’s going to be €10,000. We take two, you get eight, everyone is happy.”

The company also represents less well-known names who are also getting a few bob for various engagements.

Ex-Ireland Rugby International Brian O'Driscoll during a speech after receiving the Freedom of the City of Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

“The same amount of work goes into a speaking gig where you make €500,” Trevor points out. “That’s why most traditional agencies don’t engage with 95 per cent of the sporting world, which don’t command bigger fees.

“But that also in turn means lots of companies don’t have access to actually engage with sportspeople because all they ever get offered is somebody they can’t afford.”

Many top names command large fees for the likes of after-dinner speeches.

“€2,500 up to €10,000,” reveals Trevor. “A Q&A or keynote speech is a bit more. If you’re someone bigger than that it goes up to €100,000 and if you want a superstar it could be seven figures.”

Asked what someone of the stature of Brian O’Driscoll might get, he replies: “We don’t represent Brian, but I think he’s in the €10,000 to €15,000 mark.”

Reporter Eugene Masterson talks to Trevor and Declan

Kerryman Trevor was commercial director of Setanta Sports, later Eir Sports, when he and Dubliner Declan Bourke, who was MD of companies dealing with financial stocks and shares, decided to team up to form Sport Endorse.

Declan explains how they came up with the concert of the platform where thousands of athletes and companies can pitch ideas and offers to each other.

“How do you manage to help lots of people when you are a small team?” asks Declan.

“Well you can’t, is the simple answer, unless you have something that enables you to do that and the answer is that we believe firmly in technology, where it’s possible.”

While the platform features numerous Irish sports stars, there’s also a huge number of Americans as well as figures from Britain and the rest of Europe.

“You’re not going to find Messi or Neymar or Tom Brady on this, but you will find everyone else,” notes Trevor.

“Show me an athlete that doesn’t need support and doesn’t need product.”


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