When negotiations are at an impasse, sometimes some sort of catalyst is needed to get the deal done. Making concessions usually does the trick. Sometimes you need someone else on your behalf – an agent, if you will. Wouldn’t it be even better if your agent was Arliss?
That’s the situation the Boston Celtics found themselves in while trying to finish a sponsorship deal with Modell’s Sporting Goods. Celtics President Rich Gotham thought he’d be dealing with Mitch Modell. Simple stuff, right? But then Arliss walked in.
Apparently, Wuhl, wearing a disguise, was in full “Arli$$” mode during the meeting - lots of yelling, swearing and demanding more and more and more from the Green Team’s marketing men.Could you imagine being in that meeting? I’d hope that the deal was pretty much a done deal before doing it. A stunt like this could easily be seen as chintzy, and well, lame. But if the deal got done, then no worries, right?
Finally - when things really started to get nasty - Wuhl ripped off his disguise to reveal his secret identity. But Gotham still wasn’t convinced he was being had.
“I kept asking myself during the meeting, ‘OK, I really must be confused, because he’s not really an agent, right?’ ” Gotham said, describing Wuhl’s hard-nosed negotiating tactics. “First time I’ve negotiated with a fictional character, I think.”
“They thought it was a good way to (bleep) with the Celtics,” laughed Modell’s marketing man Eric Friedberg of Cohen-Friedberg Associates, who helped orchestrate the goof.Indeed it was.