An All-Star Week
Every June, sports agent Todd France rallies football’s top players to headline a free kids’ sports camp.
As a sports agent, Todd France has heard all the references to Jerry Maguire. “The big difference is,” France points out, “he only had one client. When you have 60-plus, it becomes much more interesting.”
France, a native of Chicago, started out on a small scale in 2003 when he launched his own company, but it grew rapidly and attracted a buyer in 2011. “Unfortunately, the owner also bought a football team, which was a conflict of interest, so he gave the company back,” says France, who later sold it to the CAA group. Today, his client roster reads like a Who’s Who of the football world: Demaryius Thomas, a former Tech star now with the Denver Broncos; Vic Beasley, a Clemson All-American now with the Falcons; and Leonard Floyd, a UGA player now with the Chicago Bears.
And being part of a larger organization gives him access to more A-list names that he recruits for his philanthropic project: The New Era All Star Football Camp, a free, week-long project in June that has drawn more than 2,000 youngsters since it began 11 years ago.
“We bring in more than 65 NFL players for four days, and there’s no larger gathering of NFL players like this in the off-season, which is why we get such great media attention,” says France. “The players understand the importance of giving back and the chance to work with kids, and the kids get a one-time chance to meet these athletes and learn from the best of the best.”
Midway through camp week, the players also take over a local restaurant and act as servers. This year’s dinner, held at The Palm, raised $125,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Other parties and celebrations are held at various venues around town.
The program has grown since France started the camp with just 10 pro players. “We always talk to our clients about the importance of giving back, and I thought it was a good idea to lead by example,” he says. “And it’s grown over the years, with both the number of people attending and the number of athletes involved. And it’s all free.”
So far, the camp has remained centered in Atlanta, but France is hopeful it will soon expand beyond the metro area. “Now that I’m part of a bigger platform with CAA, and their music and entertainment side as well, who knows where it will go.”
For registration information, visit neweracap.com/allstarfootballcamp. You can also find the camp on Facebook by searching CAA Sports – All Star Football Camp. To learn more about CAA Sports, visit sports.caa.com.
STORY: H.M. Cauley
PHOTO: Sara Hanna