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David Falk has long been recognized as one of the sports industry’s leading figures and most talented innovators. He has represented the top players in NBA history and has negotiated record-breaking contracts for his clients, both on and off the court.
He began his career representing professional athletes with ProServ in 1974, eventually becoming vice chairman of the company. He left ProServ in 1992 to form Falk Associates Management Enterprises (FAME) to provide specialized and personal representation service to the company’s elite clientele of NBA superstars. During his career, Falk has represented more NBA first-round draft selections, lottery picks, Rookies-of-the-Year, and All-Stars than anyone else in the athletic management business.
Falk negotiated the highest contracts in NBA history for Patrick Ewing (New York Knicks) in 1985 and Danny Ferry (Cleveland Cavaliers) in 1990. He negotiated professional sports’ first $100 million contract in 1996 for Alonzo Mourning as part of an unprecedented free agency period in which FAME changed the entire salary structure of the NBA, negotiating over $400 million in contracts for its free agent clients in a six-day period.
During his career, Falk has also been credited with being sports marketing’s leading innovator. In 1985 he negotiated Michael Jordan’s ground-breaking deal with Nike, which is the most successful endorsement relationship in history, and in the process coined the name “Air Jordan.” He also negotiated notable shoe endorsement contracts for James Worthy in 1982, Boomer Esiason (who became the first NFL player to endorse the Reebok “Pump”) in 1987, and Allen Iverson with Reebok in 1996.
In 1996, Falk crossed over into entertainment as he executive produced the Ivan Reitman/Warner Bros. Feature Space Jam, Michael Jordan’s first film, teaming Jordan with the Looney Tunes in an intergalactic basketball showdown. In 2000, he executive produced Michael Jordan to the Max, the critically acclaimed large format feature on the NBA legend. Falk also served as executive producer of the Emmy-winning On Hallowed Ground, a documentary on the history of the Rucker Park Basketball League, which received a gold medal at the 2000 New York Film Festival, as well as One Love (2003) and Young Guns (2004). Falk was a founding partner, along with Quincy Jones, in New Urban Entertainment (NUE), a multi-faceted entertainment company that focused on the development, production, and marketing of entertainment drawn from the urban experience.
In 1998, Falk sold FAME to SFX Entertainment, serving on SFX’s Board of Directors and in the Office of the Chairman. As Chairman of SFX Sports Group, Falk oversaw the acquisition of a dozen sports agencies that enabled SFX to represent approximately 20 percent of MLB and NBA players. Falk stepped down as chairman in 2001 to pursue other interests, but continues to serve as SFX Basketball’s founder.
Basketball Digest ranked Falk #2 behind NBA Commissioner David Stern in a survey of the most influential people in basketball. He has been a perennial selection to The Sporting News’ “100 Most Powerful People in Sports.” In 1999, Advertising Age named Falk to its “Marketing 100” list of the country’s top 100 marketers. USA Today selected Falk as an “Ad/Marketing Powerbroker of 1996.”
Falk serves on the Board of Directors of Blavod Extreme Spirits (BES), an integrated spirits company based in Nashville. He is a founding investor in Marquis Jet, a private aviation company, and Golf GCX Partners, and is a founder and principal in DNS, a digital alternative advertising company.
He has served as chairman of the annual Sports-a-Thon to benefit the Leukemia Society of America, raising over $2 million over the past 11 years. A frequent guest lecturer at universities around the country, including Harvard, Yale, Syracuse, Duke and the University of Pennsylvania, he also serves on George Washington University’s National Law Center’s Board of Advisors.
He received a B.A. with honors in economics from Syracuse University in 1972, and a J.D. with honors from the National Law Center at George Washington University in 1975. He and his wife, the former Rhonda Frank, live in Rockville, Maryland, and have two daughters, Daina and Jocelyn.