One of the biggest names in music representation is getting into the business of representing athletes. Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), which represents the likes of Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolboy Q and Jay Rock, announced Friday that it is opening up a sports division and its first client will be former LSU running back Derrius Guice.
“They were the first guys who came to me, just like LSU was the first school to offer me a scholarship,” Guice said. “I didn’t forget that.”
Guice, who said he is a big fan of Kendrick Lamar, also said that he liked the idea of being the division’s first and only client.
“The focus is on me and my game plan, not on a ton of other guys,” Guice said.
TDE, which was founded by Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith in 2004, represents eight artists and recently partnered with Disney and Marvel on “Black Panther,” which hits theaters next month.
The sports division will be run out of TDE’s Los Angeles headquarters and will be led by veteran agent Fadde Mikhail, who joined the company.
“‘Top Dawg’ is a huge sports fan, and although he isn’t working in the business of sports, he is very familiar with it,” said Mikhail, who will represent Guice in contract and marketing negotiations. “He had a phenomenal vision to start this company and now is extending that into sports.”
Guice, who ran for more than 2,500 yards and scored 26 touchdowns in his last two seasons at LSU, follows the trend of high-profile running backs being represented by nontraditional agencies. Guice’s predecessor at LSU, Leonard Fournette, signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, as did this year’s projected top running back, Saquon Barkley, and Todd Gurley in 2015.