Dell writes book

August 10, 2009

Good negotiators know the rules. Great negotiators know when to break those rules. And then there are the true master dealmakers, like the pioneering sports lawyer Donald Dell.

His forthcoming book, NEVER MAKE THE FIRST OFFER (Except When You Should), will be published by Portfolio on August 20 just in time for the US OPEN. Publishers Weekly had this to say in their starred review:

“Legendary sports agent Dell reveals the secrets to successful negotiating in this spellbinding, behind-the-scenes look at deal making in the high stakes world of professional athletics. The treasure trove of practical advice is backed up by mesmerizing tales of the deals Dell closed on behalf of such stars as Arthur Ashe, Michael Jordan, Jimmy Connors and Patrick Ewing. The author drives home simple yet powerful business lessons: he recalls how his negotiation for a new Michael Jordan basketball shoe reached an impasse until Nike exec Peter Moore blurted out a clear concept for a line called ‘Air Jordan,’ which subsequently became the biggest licensing deal in history; and his own temper cost him a deal signing a promising young tennis star…. Dell reveals that successful deal making requires strong relationships, trust, self-awareness-the very qualities his star clients embody.”

Dell also had an illustrious tennis career and was recently inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. For more information about him, see