I wonder what happened with the press conference. Perhaps (hopefully) Hanyu isn't being sure himself? It would seem Hanyu want to take his time to experience Toronto first and see how the chemistry goes with Orser. Very sensible to try before you buy, good for him.
If you have read my posts correctly, you'd see the percentages and the 'extra chargeable services' I am referring to comes from the BUYER or the SPONSOR of talent's services, not the talents themselves. I have outlined different ways agency can make their money, and the rate are likely to be structured in accordance to the level of products and services and earning potentials including bespoke services. It is a bit simplistic to focus only on the percentage alone without considering if it is a buy or sell, or maybe it is a lucrative endorsement deal that may take a year to work on which the agency is likely to demand more due to the fact it takes great deal of work and time involved, and the high risk of deals falling through (when they do, all time is wasted, nothing is earned). IMO, it is VERY unlikely the agency can profit PURELY based on the flat capped 10% rate you are suggesting and survives based on winnings, earning and sponsorship deals. Figure skating has a tiny scale of business compares to those of Hollywood showbiz - Where CAA did big business rely on even smaller % than 10 in the 90s.
For the sake of argument however, let's assuming everything you said is correct, and my theories is completely wrong. When in doubt, just follow the money. Assume an agency like IMG were able to represent 100% of all skaters among ALL major ISU competitors in the whole world. In singles, pairs, and ice dancing. In other words they have 100% market share and no other competition.
Here's an approx breakdown of all the prize money for 2008/2009 season (Seniors) for the 3 Major ISU skating competitions according to this Wiki and this link
Prize in US dollars, K = 1,000.
Grand prix series$272k
Winner $25k (Couples split)
(Top 6 get prize money)
World Championship $ 710k
Winner Singles $45k, Pairs/Ice Dancing $67.5k,
(Top 12 get prize money)
Four Continents $250k
Winner get $22.5k
(Top 12 get prize money)
That makes the entire pool of prize money for the 3 major ISU competitions stands at $1.23million. (I didn't bother count the European championships since IMG primarily represent Japanese skaters and US skaters according to their website.)
By charging flat rate of 10% with no extra fees or subsidies, the maximum they can hope to earn from skaters's winning is maximum $123k from 100% market representation. How much is there left after deducting the running cost of an agency at some of the most expensive cities in the world (New York, Tokyo for figure skating to start with?) when there are the other costs to consider: Client Entertainment Cost, Management cost, Transport cost, Accounting Cost, Operation Cost, PR/ Media, Employee salary and bonus (New York, Japan, Europe), Utility costs, Taxes. What about federation's cut? Are these 10% before or after their cut? (I doubt 123k would even cover the entertainment costs, let alone a sport agents' salary.)
Now let's simplify this model further by give this agency even better advantages. Let's assume the agency ONLY represent the prize winners as clients, so no operation budget are wasted looking after those who do not perform other than the top 12 winning skaters. That makes minimum 24 prize winners in singles: 12 in men, 12 in women; then 12 in pairs, 12 in dance. That is 48 client accounts, and 96 people in their talent books. 96 groups of logistics from approximately 7/8/9 countries where the sport agency need to manage and follow up with federation, coaches, choreographers, costumes, music edit, physio/health, ice shows, public appearances, endorsement deals/sponsorships and other skater business relations, PR. Just how big of a team do you think it would takes to manage an operations of this size full time to gain maximum from winnings? Or even maybe half of its size? Or even quarter its size? How many people should IMG put their employees in this sport when the maximum they can hope to earn from them winning is 123k?
There are other minor competitions of course, nationals, exhibition competition (world team trophy for example)... but even if the prize doubled or even tripled the maximum 100% winning amount, it still wouldn't cover the basic running costs, let alone profit. Now consider this 100% market share does not exist, when there are skaters like Patrick Chan, Yuna Kim, Alissa Czisny, and the European/Russian Skaters that are not represented by an agency like IMG who regularly occupies substantial chunk of the prize money for themselves out of the maximum $123k potential pot money that can be gained. Then you should have got a rough idea of how much An Agency can realistically earn from winnings. And actually looking at the list of their clients, IMG primarily represent US and Japan only, so this shrunk the pool of prize money even further.
Clearly, the above shows there's literally NO MONEY can be earned winning alone. So how do agents REALLY profit? Sponsorship and Ice show alone are enough to cover it? In this climate, and the dwindling audiences in North America and bad economy? You sure?
Take the ice shows, just how much income can they generate per skater? A few hundred dollars per a few big events per year is hardly going to cover a skater's entire year of management cost? Say a skater skate for shows 10 shows $1000 a day, That means the agency only stand to earn $1000 dollars per candidate max per year. How long do you think it takes to organise a talent to travel on a shows and manage their schedules, transport, insurance, board, billings from start to finish per show? I estimate 3-4 hours from start to finish after emails phone calls, managing paper work then accounting, that means sport agents stand to only bill approx $25-33.3 per hour in New York time before tax and expenses? Is this feasible?
How about sponsorships? Although theoretically there's no ceiling to the amount of sponsorship one can get, but just how many commercially viable stars in this sport can really command these big deals belong to the agency? If there's only 10% flat fee derived purely from earnings, then it would appear 90% of all their profit comes from their no.1 talent/candidate who earn 10million in sponsorships per year. If then the agency can then stand to earn $1 million from represent this client alone. Is it then really inconceivable then the agency will do what it can to protect this client, include some form of retaliation against her rival, including sabotage or revenge for its own business survival? I don't know the answer, although I have my suspicions....I am a freak afterall!
How about federation funds? Maybe that is the most critical question? Who has the power to buy their way to maximise their OGM chances? Who wants to buy an OGM? Well... the likely hood is probably EVERYBODY!!! Whether they can afford one, or has the means to get it is another matter.
Interesting enough, The total prize money for World Team Trophy is $1,000,000.
A MILLION DOLLARS!!! Who fund this money?? In a way, it is the best sort of sport competition, where everybody wins as long as you take part.
1st place $200k
2nd place $170k
3rd place $160k
4th place $150k
5th place $150k
6th place $130k
Not bad for showing up and stand there. The last place get better deal than coming 4th at world championship (assume they are 1/10th of a team, the less team member the more for them.)
We have often discussed figure skating is a political sport, but in truth, political influence can not exist in a vacuum without these influences to be carried out by someone. Just who do you think carry out these influences? Who are the ones who can financially reaps reward off the sports behind the scenes while the hard working skaters are killing themselves going after those precious fabulous gold medals? And even if they succeed it is still not enough to cover their training? e.g Patrick Chan?
The reality of the world of sport meeting big business can be harsh and cruel, but 'money' is a universal language that is easily understood better than 'English'. IMO the facilitators of this sport certainly include the big monopolised sport agency who can play roles of the negotiator, deal breaker, escrow agent, they are the buffer to protect the talents from uglies behind the scenes the movers and shakers. They are the constant gardener that tends to the 'weeds' to landscape their perfect garden so their 'clients and associates' can readily reap the fruits of their labour.
Perhaps you'd care to remind that to IMG/Orser. Orser showed the following email he wrote to his formal pupil word for word:
Originally Posted by overedge
"I am sure you have heard some of the rumours that have been going around Mao. I just want you to know that I am loyal to you and am always here for you. Her agency did inquire about me (and team) working with her, I told them you are my first priority. I have to say I was flattered she has an interest, but your skating comes first"
He then went on Canadian TV saying no offer has been made from anyone from Mao's side. Then JSF also came out strongly denying this. 2 seasons later he is teaching the next golden child of JSF. Who's the unethical one here?
The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance. - Confucious.