Based in Greenville Everett Sports Marketing (ESM) has spent the past 13 years landing huge support contracts for NFL players like Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns, Mac Jones of the New England Patriots and Will Grier of the Cowboys of Dallas.
Thanks in large part to ESM, Indianapolis Colts backer Jonathan Taylor has landed a mind-boggling list of mentions from Toppers Pizza to Under Armor to Campbell’s Soup.
The company also hosts football camps for kids, featuring players like Chubb and Sony Michel from the LA Rams. It is an enviable and selective list of clients and they are growing rapidly. In 2020, they made 21 marketing deals ahead of the NFL Draft, scoring several mentions for Taylor, Clemson’s Tee Higgins and UGA’s D’Andre Swift.
“By keeping a small client list and having a strong staff to support them, we have been able to achieve record deals that hit the headlines every quarter. -Dan Everett
Not bad for a company that started out as a side-gig for an electrical engineer named Dan Everett.
Everett, who runs ESM with his wife Rachel, never intended to start one of the nation’s leading NFL player marketing companies.
“I was born in a very rural town in southern Georgia and graduated from Georgia Southwestern with a degree in chemistry and physics,” says Everett. “And then I ended up going to UGA as a visiting student for my sophomore and sophomore summers.”
Through a mutual friend, Everett met UGA running back Danny “DJ” Ware, and a partnership blossomed between the two men. It’s an unlikely story, but Everett essentially decided to step into the lucrative world of sports memorabilia and autograph signing, on the face of it.
“I went to different memorabilia and autograph signatures that people were putting together,” he says. “I bought tickets myself. I was fully aware of everything that was going on and then tried to replicate and improve this business model. So I was a bit self-taught. In 2007, I started a souvenir business, and it eventually evolved into youth football camps. And through these two verticals, about nine years ago, we started doing marketing representation for professional football players. “
In the beginning, Everett represented players who weren’t necessarily well known.
“Back then, we were representing players who had just graduated from the NFL or players who were end-of-round players with no skills,” says Everett, “the most difficult players you can try to represent. And we did a really good job. We were responsible, creative, worked tirelessly and did things for them that they didn’t expect, and every year it grew and every year we were able to recruit more top players.
The Everett’s moved the business to Greenville from Georgia 13 years ago.
“When I first moved here, it was still a side activity for me,” Dan says with a laugh. “I was still working in electrical engineering, designing transformers, and here we are 13 years later, we are fortunate to have one of the fastest growing NFL marketing companies in the country. We love Greenville, it’s a beautiful city.
In 2014, the ESM landed two big names in the NFL Draft, and they haven’t looked back since.
“We signed both (UofSC quarterback) Conor Shaw and (UGA quarterback) Aaron Murray,” said Everett, “two first SEC quarterbacks, and even if they weren’t such a high pick, they were both very marketable, and being able to go too far and overstuff these two guys allowed us to build a portfolio and recruit to the next level.
Even though the business has grown, Everett Sports Marketing has kept its client list selective; at the moment they are working with 15 athletes.
“By keeping a small client list and having a strong staff to support them, we’ve been able to achieve record deals that hit the headlines every quarter,” says Everett. “But it’s the little things; our customers can count on us on a daily basis for anything they may need because our staff give them great attention. What we do is 55% relational and 45% performance. To do a great job you have to do both, but sometimes it’s about the relationship you build and the little things that are as important to these NFL Superstars as getting and executing marketing arrangements. .