Georges St. Pierre and long time manager Shari Spencer have called it quits. The statement they released to the press indicated the split was amicable:
They felt they had a different vision for the future of Georges’ career and it was best to remain close personally but dissolve their business relationship.
The truth is a little more complicated. Sometimes, especially in the volatile fight game, relationships just run their course.
“They said it was amicable,” a source close to the situation said. “Georges was just being nice. It was not. Essentially, he just fired her.”
From what we can piece together from the rumor mill, it was a break up that was a long time coming and no one in the MMA community was particularly surprised by the move. While Spencer has gotten some nice press over the years, crediting her with St-Pierre’s ground breaking deals with Gatorade and Under Armour, those deals only came after the Canadian fighter signed with the venerable Creative Arts Agency in 2008.
“St. Pierre is good looking, articulate, and easy to work with,” one agent said under conditions of anonymity. “Almost anyone could have made these deals happen for him. He is the perfect spokesman for the sport. I give Shari credit for one thing: she knew she was overmatched and was brave enough to bring in outside help to do what she couldn’t.”
St. Pierre is a model client. He always comes to fight in shape and ready to go. His training, managed by Firas Zihabi, sends him all over the world to seek out the best instruction he can find. Zahabi manages St. Pierre’s fighting career like a mainstream sport’s head coach. He isn’t afraid to seek the advice of outside experts and doesn’t try to put himself in the limelight. Experts believe that Spencer’s self promotion helped end the relationship.
“It’s about the fighter not the agent,” one well known agent said. “Give me the right client and I will show you how easy it is to look great. Give me a client who is a loser and can’t be controlled, one who complains like everything is someone else’s fault, and I will show you how bad I can look. GSP is an agent’s dream. Seems like many dreams in this case; when you wake up its not there any more.”
Bloody Elbow has learned that money was at the heart of the dispute. St. Pierre was paying Spencer a rumored 20 percent of all the deals she brought to the table. In the end, he decided the famous firm was providing more than enough was and he didn’t need an agent and a high profile manager. It was time for one to go.
With a fighting contract in place, St. Pierre will be represented exclusively by CAA for the time being, with close friend Rodolphe Beaulieu filling in as his manager. Snark Fights is reporting Beaulieu works in finance but has no management experience. Sources speculate his role will be to act as a go-between for St. Pierre’s dealings with CAA.
Shari Spencer declined to comment on this story, citing ethical and professional responsibilities to her former client.
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