Nick Markakis

Bringing the Markakis brand to Baltimore and beyond

Daily Record Business Writer
April 2, 2009 6:16 PM

When the Orioles signed 25-year-old Nick Markakis to a six-year, $66.1 million contract extension in February, the team brought home its top priority in the offseason.

John Maroon: ‘So what we want people to think of is Nick [Markakis] is a guy that cares about Maryland and is an outstanding baseball player — which is what people here think now — and continue that on a national scale.’His future in Baltimore no longer a question mark, Markakis has hired a local firm to build his brand and catapult him into the national sports scene.

But for Markakis to jump from local hero to national celebrity while playing in a midsized market, the onus is on him not to just be good — he has to be great.

There are two ways that can happen, said John Maroon, president and founder of Markakis’ new agency, Marriottsville-based Maroon PR. One is to “catch lightning in a bottle” and garner national media attention through some extraordinary turn of events.

That happened to sports agent Joe Linta’s client, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, when the rookie led the underdog team to an 11-5 record last season and one win away from the Super Bowl. Since then, endorsement deals, including one from Pizza Hut, have been pouring in during the offseason, Linta said.