Who we are
We are experts in the fields of business management of individuals, representation of properties for sponsorship sales, and consulting with corporations interested in maximizing their involvement in sports and entertainment.
Our effectiveness in achieving success for our clients stems from our industry specialized, extensive experience, well-placed contacts, long-term relationships, and backgrounds in all facets of the industry.
- Communication Agencies
- Front office personnel
- Media personalities
- Motorsports personnel
- Sports leagues
- Sports properties
- Sports teams
Throughout the 1980’s, the law firm of Frasco and Caponigro, PC, (now Frasco Caponigro Wineman Scheible Hauser Luttmann, PLLC (FCWSHL)), in addition to its already substantial labor law practice, established a national reputation for its involvement in the exponential growth of open-wheel motorsports serving as the guiding force for having represented Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART), then the sanctioning body for Indy-style racing.
Widely credited with the vision and foresight to maximize the value of the CART to advertisers, the firm engineered the explosive growth of the property from 1978 through 1990 into one of the most viable sports enterprises in America. During this time, law firm principal John Frasco served as Chairman of CART while John Caponigro served in growing capacities from staff attorney, Vice President, Executive Vice President and, ultimately, at age 32, the youngest President and CEO of a major sports league.
While working with CART, Caponigro managed, negotiated and was responsible for all administrative functions of the Series including sponsorships, television, radio, international television, race promoter agreements, marketing, public relations, insurance and finance.
During the same time, the sports and entertainment practice of the law firm was growing. Clients at that time included basketball stars Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Mark Aguirre of the then World Champion Detroit Pistons, Hersey Hawkins of the Seattle Supersonics, Doug Smith of the Dallas Mavericks, Eddie Murray and Jim Arnold of the Detroit Lions, and a host of broadcasters, coaches and others.
As the firm’s sports and entertainment legal practice grew, Caponigro reached the conclusion that the clients needed more than simply the contract negotiation element of service; they needed post-contract assistance in maximizing the value of their celebrity in the marketplace.
Hence, SMN was born.
Over the course of its history of representation of individuals, SMN has had the great fortune to work with many champion athletes and coaches as well as media personalities. This work spans across a variety of sports and media platforms. SMN’s client roster includes marquee names and elite talent such as three generations of the legendary motorsports Andretti family (Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti and Marco Andretti), along with modern day racing superstars in Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, and Graham Rahal. Former head football coach Gary Pinkel – the winningest coach in the history of both the Toledo Rockets and Missouri Tigers football programs, Michigan State University men’s head basketball coach Tom Izzo – an NCAA champion and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, and current University of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly have all worked with SMN – as does Mitch Albom, an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician.
Since its inception, SMN has continued to grow and tailor its service offerings with the evolving sports and entertainment industry. In addition to its robust career management practice, SMN specializes in acquiring commercial sponsorship for its client properties – such as Team Penske, provides customized sponsorship expertise to corporations and communication agencies in a consultancy capacity, and offers full-service ancillary and post-career business development for individual clients.
Celebrating 30 years of success for its clients, SMN enjoys an excellent reputation for its professionalism, creativity, and ability to deliver results. The scope and breadth of the firm’s capabilities in both its management and marketing practices, couple with its integrity and work ethic, has yielded significant results and, as a result, has earned the trust and confidence of all SMN clients.