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Leiweke the "Headhunter"

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  • Leiweke the "Headhunter"

    Anyone who works in the recruiting industry is well aware of the term "headhunting'. I have to say I wish I had some the stars like Leiweke has available when I'm trying to find Senior Siebel Systems Admininstrators or DLPS C++ Software Developers in the nation's capital. Would make my job soooo much easier.

    Regardless, here is a behind the scenes look at how he and the MLSE enticed Jermain Defoe to come overseas and play with the FC this season. Can wait to see if Leiweke pulls out similar moves with potential FA's for the Raptors this summer and years to come.

    Toronto Star wrote:
    He could not negotiate with the player — that’s tampering (though it’s a widespread practice). So he focused on Defoe’s closest advisor, his mother, Sandra.

    MLSE invited Sandra for a week in Toronto in early November. Three staffers were assigned to care for her. She was put up at the Ritz. When she got to her room, there were flowers waiting. From Drake.

    “Are these really from Drake?” Sandra asked.

    Leiweke assured her they were.

    They brought her to the ACC on the morning of Nov. 5 before a Raptors game with the Miami Heat. As part of the tour, Sandra visited the hockey dressing room. A Leafs’ jersey emblazoned with Defoe’s name was hung in every stall.

    While there, staffers tried to connect Sandra to her son via Skype. They had trouble getting a steady connection. Eventually, they had to move out onto the ice.

    Out in the hallway that runs from the Leafs’ dressing room to the basketball visitors’ quarters, LeBron James was waiting to accidentally bump into Sandra.

    Leiweke had reached out to James’ manager, Maverick Carter, to ask for the favour.

    Still fiddling with the laptop, she missed her window. James returned to begin his pre-game routine.

    He’d do his part later. During a break in play in the Raptors game, he approached Sandra, who was sitting courtside with Leiweke. As he walked toward her, James wagged his finger in a familiar, teasing way. Sandra goggled. The most famous athlete on the continent leaned in to suggest Defoe would be happy in Canada.

    Sandra turned again, delighted: “That was LeBron James!”

    “Everyone loves Toronto,” Leiweke said.

    After Sandra left, Leiweke sent Drake back in. The rap star was out on tour. Leiweke worked out a detailed pitch that Drake would make to Defoe over the phone. Defoe would later describe the call as “surreal.” This holistic come-on worked. Within a week, negotiations became serious.
    Source - Click here

  • #2
    It sounds so easy...


    • #3

      lebron james?


      • #4
        Honestly good on him. Tanking seems less likely at the moment (along with having a lot of other teams to compete with in this regard), and trades netting you star players do happen but are unlikely. That leaves the only option to getting better free agency. I'll believe it when I see it, in the history of our franchise we have never signed a star player in free agency. hedo turkoglu and the corpse of hakeem olajuwon do not count.


        • #5

          Just wow



          I'm speechless


          • #6
            Holy crap.


            • #7
              good lord that man is smooth and has some crazy clout, mind boggling


              • #8


                • #9
                  My jaw dropped about 3 sentences in and stayed as such as I read the whole piece.

                  Absolutely insane.


                  • #10
                    Pretty impressive. Savvy move. Pretty sure he did something similar to get Beckham.

                    If that's the kind of money he's spending on our SOCCER Team, I can only imagine what he has in mind for the real money makers.


                    • #11
                      He simply has the ability to ask for a favour, and get it from LeBron James..that is incredible! That shows the type of figure that Leiweke has. Just asking for favours? Incredible!

                      Between his power, Casey's basketball intelligence, and the brand/connections of Drake...the Raptors are in a great place moving forward!


                      • #12
                        Oh my goodness!
                        "Both teams played hard my man" - Sheed


                        • #13
                          I think this also goes to show, to those who questioned the great TL, how savvy a move it was to get Drake on board, and just how universal his appeal is.


                          • #14
                            Maybe we will get Lebron after all!


                            • #15
                              Now I understand why Masai said that Raps will not be caught in no man's land.