Representative to the Stars
By Shawn Dimantha April 19, 2004
When you first walk into Lloyd Remick’s office, thoughts of Jerry Maguire and Arliss come to mind. Platinum and gold records line the walls. Signed pictures of superstar athletes are displayed prominently. Remick, however, an entertainment and sports lawyer, defies the kind of aura given by the media to sports agents, and exudes the presence and confidence of a made man.
Remick graduated from Wharton in the late 1950s. Hewas actually a member of the junior and senior boards of The Daily Pennsylvanian when he was at Penn, also serving as business manager. He then went on to Temple Law School to get his law degree.
“After law school, I went to work in the Defense Department under then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara as a military civilian adviser,” Remick said. “I came back to Philadelphia to practice what I thought would be corporate law.”
However, his dreams of corporate law turned into a more defined area of expertise. He began to receive a few calls from some up-and-coming rock-and-rollers.
“Ironically enough I was practicing for a number of years, thinking that I was a corporate lawyer, but that I represented god-given talent.”
One of the first times Remick actually heard the terms “entertainment and sports lawyer” was when the Harlem Globetrotter legend Meadowlark Lemon gave him a call from California. The star needed representation, so Remick agreed to terms.
Lemon “mentioned the words ‘entertainment sports lawyer,’ and that was the very first time I had heard those words.”
It didn’t matter whether they sang a song, sacked a quarterback, dunked a basketball or wrote a book. Lloyd Remick was representing many prominent figures in the entertainment and sports world, from world champion athletes to Grammy-award winning artists.
The field of entertainment and sports law was relatively new when Remick entered the business. Now it is a bustling industry, probably best known to be popularized by the media. Remick jokingly cited the three sources for the public conception of the sports agent world as, “Arnie on L.A. Law, Jerry Maguire with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise and of course, the super sports agent of all time, Arliss of HBO.”
He acknowledged that entertainment and sports have been interacting over the past few years, and that no real strict definition separates the two. With the increasing presence of media glamour attached to both, the earning potential seems to be limitless.
“Every athlete has a secret desire to be an entertainer, and many singers and performers are dying to play sports,” Remick said.
Other figures in the entertainment world that he has represented include television anchors, sports announcers, publishers and authors. There is a sense that the field is becoming larger and larger, and more and more dollars are being pumped into the industry.
Despite the common perception of sports agents simply pushing for money and fame, Remick has taken it upon himself to be a leader in the fight against drugs and the push for education of young people. He has some critical views of where the industry is going in terms of some aspects bringing negative societal impact.
Remick serves as a member of associations and clubs and has been named to the Board of Governors and the Executive Committee of the Maxwell Football Club.
He was legal counsel to the Fight Against Drugs, helping to combat drugs in the sports industry. FAD is a movement that has brought professional players into the classrooms of college and high school athletes, to get the word out of the detriment of drugs.
Acknowledging that the general state of morals and ethics has been on the decline in the entertainment and sports world, Remick has fought fervently to restore some integrity to the field. He noted that “sports and education should be separated,” and that more focus should be given in the classroom.
With more and more high school players declaring for the NBA Draft and college players leaving early to play in the NBA and the NFL, Remick expressed his concern about the false hopes that are fed to these young athletes.
“Sometimes I wonder when you hear a player getting $100 million over five years, what could be done with that money. You could do an awful lot if it were spread over elementary school teachers, or certain kinds of people who are influential in the education field.”
Remick was proud to note that all six of his children went through college and graduate school, some going into law. Two actually went to Penn, but none of his children followed in his footsteps and entered the sports and entertainment business.
“I believe education and the ability to communicate are so important in life, it helps you in anything that you get involved with,” Remick said.
He noted that one of the problems representing entertainers or athletes is that one has to be aware of their short amount of earning potential. The average NFL career is approximately four-and-a-third years.
“If one is lucky enough to make it in the NFL, he can earn much higher than what a normal wage earner would make. He should be thinking of how to hopefully save some of that, invest some of that, to prepare for the future.”
Remick notesthat some of his most meaningful times was spent representing the Grammy- award winning saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. He also mentioned Merrill Reese, voice of the Philadelphia Eagles, as well as Philadelphia 76ers player Hersey Hawkins
He also gave a few tips to aspiring entertainment and sports lawyers.
“It is a question of perseverance. Admittedly there are a lot of road blocks; it is very difficult to get started. Being at the right place at the right time is key.”
Remick noted such places as Los Angeles and New York as hot spots for entertainment venues. While Remick admitted he is usually immersed in his work, he has found time for a few of his passions. He investigated his creative side a number of years ago and wrote a book of poetry. Eventually that interest grew into a CD, in which he set some of his poems to music with the help of professionals.
“I still haven’t placed it with a recording company. It’s not one of my better financial deals, but it was a great kick for me to do.”
Among all the athletes Remick has represented, none have had the title of national champion. That is, with one exception. He pointed to a picture of a hockey game. It was from his grandson, who had participated in the National Hockey Championship for 8-year-old players. His grandson went on to earn Most Valuable Goalie of the tournament as his team won the championship.
“He gave the picture to me and said, ‘Grampy, this may be the only national champion you know,’ and he was right, I had Olympic world champions, college superstars, music sensations, but no national champions. And that is why that picture is the centerpiece of my office.”