Who We ARE
Bringing Our A-Game for A-List Clients
After participating in sports, sports-related and athlete-owned businesses and nonprofit organizations for a number of years, founding partners Larry Centers and Rita Mort established A-Game Sports Marketing in April of 2016 From driving sales for sports apparel and equipment companies, to building professional and personal brands for current and former athletes, A-Game Sports Marketing comprehensive services are unsurpassed.
We help sports-focused companies do things like develop marketing strategies, secure investors, develop product lines, create websites and set up online stores. We also help them promote their products at high profile events, secure celebrity spokespersons and develop social media promotion campaigns.
When it comes to current and former professional athletes, A-Game Sports Marketing provides a full suite of services that cater to their needs. These services include booking autograph sessions, fan meet-and-greet events, speaking engagements and other personal appearances. Additionally, we are proud to assist the charitable endeavors of athletes by helping them secure donations, manage sponsorships and execute events that benefit the nonprofit organizations they administer or support.
In 2013, A-Game Sports Marketing Co-Founders Larry Centers and Rita Mort were pursuing separate business paths that were soon to converge. Larry, a former NFL running back, 3-Time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion who retired in 2004, was beginning to re-engage with the NFL and communities where he played football. Rita, a well-respected corporate marketing executive, decided to combine her love of sports and volunteerism by working with a number of former professional athletes and their charities.In February of 2015, Larry and Rita met while coming back from Super Bowl XLIX, and became good friends almost immediately. Rita started to represent Larry as an NFL alumnus, and the two found that they shared a vision around inspiring sports company leaders and current and former professional athletes to maximize their potential -- both professionally and personally. So in April of 2016, they assembled their most trusted business colleagues and founded
A-Game Sports Marketing
As co-founders, Rita and Larry wanted their company to represent those sports companies and athletes known for “leaving it all on the field,” and delivering their personal best each and every day.
Additionally, they only wanted to work with those individuals and corporate leadership teams who are just as committed to improving their communities as they are to improving themselves and their businesses.
Although still a young company, A-Game Sports Marketing is destined for success for one reason: Neither we, nor our clients, are ever satisfied with the status quo. Everyone involved – from interns behind the scenes to legendary athletes in front of large crowds – maintains a steadfast commitment to improving the businesses, individuals and communities we all share.
About Our Founders…
Larry Centers, Founding Partner
Prior to co-founding A-Game Sports Marketing in 2016, Larry Centers spent 14 years as a player in the National Football League (NFL) and 12 years focused on residential real estate and various investments. Along with his business partner Rita Mort, Larry now spends the majority of his time in the sports media and marketing space, as well as delivering thought-provoking and inspirational content through his website, LarryCenters.com.
One of the most prolific pass-catching running backs in football history, Larry played nine seasons for the Arizona Cardinals (1990-1998), and went on to play for the Washington Redskins (1999-2000), Buffalo Bills (2001-2002), and New England Patriots (2003-2004). Ending an outstanding career on top, Larry served as a member of the Patriots’ second Super Bowl team, earning a ring in Super Bowl XXXVIII and founded A-Game Sports Marketing.
Larry’s 827 career receptions are currently the most by any running back in NFL history, and the third most by any non-wide receiver. This is particularly impressive, as Larry was a fullback, and spent much of his time blocking. In fact, Larry has more career receptions than 8 of the 15 wide receivers currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Larry topped 100 receptions in 1995 (the first NFL running back to do so), and had 99 receptions in 1996. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl three times (1995, 1996 and 2001).
Prior to joining the NFL, Larry attended Stephen F. Austin University, where he served as an integral part of the team’s offense, and caught the attention of several NFL recruiters. He is a long-time supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs, and is taking an active role in supporting the Kevin Turner Foundation. Larry lives in Grand Prairie, Texas and has five children, three of whom have played or are playing collegiate sports. He is originally from a small town in East Texas, and considers that “home.”
Rita Mort, Founding Partner
With more than 25 years as a marketing professional and a lifetime as a sports fan, Rita Mort is Co-Founder of A-Game Sports Marketing, along with her business partner, Larry Centers. Throughout her career, Rita has been instrumental in helping numerous companies– from start-ups to global powerhouses – "Bring Their A-Game” in all they do.
In addition to marketing experience, Rita has an impressive public relations and corporate responsibility (CR) background. Her relationships with executives and major corporations, media outlets and nonprofit organizations (including those led by current and former pro athletes) are helping A-Game Sports Marketing grow at an impressive rate.
Prior to co-founding A-Game sports marketing, Rita served as Americas Director of Community Engagement for Ernst & Young, a global accounting firm with $25 billion in annual revenue. There she directed regional charitable giving and volunteerism for North and South America, as well as Israel, in the company’s three focus areas: education, entrepreneurship and the environment.
Rita received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication from the University of St. Thomas. She organized her first community fundraiser at the age of six, and has been helping individuals and corporations give back ever since.
Currently,. Rita donates her time to organizations such as the Andre Reed Foundation, Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, the Jerry Colangelo Celebrity Weekend (benefiting Prostate On Call Project) and Larry & Rita’s own nonprofit organization, ‘Game Changers Worldwide.” Rita lives in Double Oak, Texas, and has one son. She is originally from a small town in Western Pennsylvania, and considers that “home."
What We DO
Advertising – print, radio, television, social media, embedded advertising
Autograph Sessions – book autograph sessions for current and ex professional athletes
Branding/Positioning – brand creation, branding campaigns
Business Development – strategy, prospecting, sales training, proposal writing, presentation creation, solicitation of key stakeholders/potential investors
Calendar Management and Customer Relationship Database Management – manage a client’s complete calendar & keep track of/nurture their professional connections to develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships
Communications – internal and external (clients, investors, media, stakeholders, alumni, general public)
Crisis Management – focused consultation to control reputational damage and re-establish positive brand; build “trust bank” to curtail future brand impact
Customer Satisfaction Tracking and Needs Analysis – surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc.
Endorsements – align a current or former athlete’s brand with appropriate products and services and secure paid endorsements for same
Event Planning and Management – networking events, social events, fundraising events, Super Bowl Week events and golf tournaments – end-to-end management from theme creation to invitations to security
Fan “Meet & Greet” Sessions – organize events that allow fans to interface with current and former professional athletes, and securing sponsorships for same
Fundraising – strategy, board development, grant writing, annual giving, planned giving, live and silent auctions, social media fundraising
Graphic Design – logo design, invitations, print layouts, multi-media presentations
Investment Consultation – vet potential client investments to ensure they are viable and meet the client’s risk profile
Media Training – train spokespersons regarding how to convey key messages in a concise manner, and how to stay “on point” with reporters
Promotional Products – design selection, ordering , distribution, etc. and themed parties, goodie bags, golf tournaments, etc.
Public Relations – pitch stories, draft media releases and alerts, leverage social media platforms and communities, etc.
ROI Reporting – determine impact of marketing investments on bottom line
Software – select, implement, integrate with website, etc.
Speaking Opportunities – help sports company executives and current/former professional athletes draft and deliver high quality speeches
Social Media – elevate awareness and brand through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets
Websites – brand, content, trend analysis, social media integration, online stores