David Falk, the founder of Falk Associates Management Enterprises (FAME), has long been recognized as one of the sports industry’s leading figures and most talented innovators. During a 40 year career, he has represented the top players in NBA history and negotiated record-breaking contracts for his clients, both on and off the court. His vision and ability to read the changing landscape helped to shape the evolution of the business of sports over the past 40 years.
He began his career representing professional athletes with ProServ in 1974, rising to Vice Chairman of the company. He left ProServ in 1992 and established FAME to provide specialized and personal representation services 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 athlete management business.
Falk negotiated the highest contracts in NBA league 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. He negotiated Michael Jordan’s one-year $30 million contract in 1996, the highest salary in NBA history at that time. Besides Jordan, Falk represented more than 100 other NBA players, and is generally considered to be the most influential player agent the NBA has seen.
Falk has also been credited as sports marketing’s leading innovator. In 1985, he negotiated Jordan’s ground-breaking deal with Nike, which is the most successful endorsement relationship in history, and in the process coined the nickname “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, Allen Iverson with Reebok in 1996 and Evan Turner with Li-Ning in 2010.
In 1996, Falk crossed over into entertainment as he executive produced the Ivan Reitman/Warner Bros. feature “Space Jam,” 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% of MLB and NBA players. Falk stepped down as Chairman in 2001. In 2007, Falk re-launched FAME as an ultra boutique agency for a small but elite clientele.
Falk is an investor in Consumable, a digital advertising company; Hyperwave, a cooking technology company; Omega, a real estate company; and Urthworx, an interactive content company. In 2009, he released his first book, “The Bald Truth.”
A 1972 honors graduate of Syracuse University with a bachelor of arts in economics, the New York native received a J.D. with honors from the National Law Center at George Washington University in 1975. In 2010, a gift from Rhonda S. Falk ’74 and David B. Falk ’72 established the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University. In 2015, a gift from the Falks established the Falk Academy of Management and Entrepreneurship at George Washington University Law School.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees for Syracuse University, the Board of Advisors for George Washington University’s National Law Center, as well as the Board of The Congressional Awards; the official charity of Congress.