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Andree Signs…Oleynik and Prudius Wait…FDNY Serves…and Clayton Joins – IPZ’s Latest Newsletter

Pat Andree to be Represented by IPZ

Pat Andree, an All-ACC Academic Team selection at North Carolina State University and one the NCAA’s Elite 3-Point shooters, has signed with IPZ, Andree and IPZ announced today.

The six-foot-eight stretch 4 power forward comes from Colts Neck, N.J., and Christian Brothers Academy, one of New Jersey’s perennial high school powerhouse programs, where he became the school’s leading scorer, breaking the 40-year-old record set by Bob Roma.

From CBA, Andree went to Lehigh University, starting in multiple games as a freshman on a senior-laden team that went to the Patriot League championship game. During his freshman season with the Mountain Hawks, Andree broke onto the national scene with an ESPN Top Ten performance, scoring a career-high 30 points against Saint Francis (Pa.). In that game, Andree made 10 threes (on 12 attempts) to set a school record.

During his sophomore season, Andree started in 29 of 30 games, averaging 12.6 points and shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range (79-184), helping the Mountain Hawks to the Patriot League Semi-Finals. Andree tormented league opponents as a match-up nightmare, stretching the floor as the league’s top Frontcourt 3-Point shooter, shooting 48.7% (55-113) from behind the arc in league play. He was 4th overall in the league in 3-point shooting, and 23rd in the nation, reaching double figures in 21 games and adding 5.8 rebounds per game. He was named First team All-Academic Patriot League.

During his junior season at Lehigh, Andree led the team in rebounds, was named to the Academic All-Patriot League team for the second straight season and had double-figure points in 22 of 29 games. He averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds and shot better than 42 percent from behind the arc in his final two seasons with the Mountain Hawks.

He was named to the Patriot League Honor Roll each year as a student-athlete during his tenure at Lehigh, graduating in three-years, and earning a degree in Psychology in May 2019.

At NC State, as a graduate transfer, Andree was named to the All-ACC Academic team, despite suffering an ankle injury versus Clemson in the 16th game of the season. Until that point in the season, he was averaging 9.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 22 minutes per game, starting in four of those games. He had shot 48% (23 of 48) from behind the three-point line up to that point in the season and was ranked among the top 5 in the ACC.

In the opening game of the season against Georgia Tech, Andree started for the Wolfpack scoring 12 points and pulling down 8 rebounds in his ACC debut. Against Florida Int’l, with the Wolfpack down 12 points in the first half, he came off the bench to score 14 consecutive points in under three minutes, including a 4-for-4 stretch from 3-point land to spark North Carolina State a runaway victory. On the road against UNC Wilmington, Andree knocked down 5-of-7 three-point attempts to lift the Wolfpack to a one-point Quad 1 win while surpassing 1,000 career points in NCAA-Division 1 play.

After knocking down a crucial 3-point shot versus Syracuse on the road, Andree suffered an injury to his ankle and his play was limited during the remainder of the season.

“Pat is a terrific young man and he was a great addition to our program,” said North Carolina State head basketball coach Kevin Keatts. “He is an elite-level shooter who has an incredible knowledge of the game. He also has a strong work ethic and is a fantastic teammate. Pat’s presence will make any locker room better and I believe he has a long professional career in front of him.”

“Patrick is not just an outstanding athlete, he is an amazing young man who has a tremendous basketball IQ and will only excel in the future,” said IPZ Managing Partner Robert Zito. “He has fully recovered from the ankle injury that impacted his season at NC State, and will be an asset to a professional team moving forward.”

“I had a great experience at North Carolina State, following my three-years at Lehigh,” said Andree. “I was so excited to play in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments, but the COVID-19 pandemic robbed everyone of that dream this year. I was pleased to have garnered the interest of several agents as my desire to continue to play basketball as a professional is strong and I am seriously committed to further developing my game. I feel very fortunate to have joined the IPZ family and proud to have their team of professionals helping me.”

Alexey Oleynik Set To Take On Next Opponent In UFC 250…

Alexey Oleynik signs his fight contract with Sam Masucci, CEO of ETF Managers Group, his sponsor. Photo by Jim Salzano.

While he has continued to train for his May 9 fight against former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, IPZ’s Alexey Oleynik is still awaiting confirmation about the site for what will be one of UFC’s biggest ever events.

“It has been frustrating, but I understand everyone’s safety is the most important concern,” Oleynik said. “Keeping my family safe and the safety of our UFC fans has to be the key.”

The star-studded card was announced this week.

“I welcome the fight against Werdum,” said Oleynik. “When the fight can eventually happen, we will put on a good show. And don’t bet against me.”

Known as the “Boa Constrictor,” Oleynik has a record of 58-13-1 and won his last fight, against Maurice Greene with a second round submission.

Oleg Prudius Puts “Miami Heat” on Hold Amidst COVID-19

Photo by Slav Gordeyev

Photo by Slav Gordeyev

Oleg Prudius was two weeks away from completing shooting on the new movie, Miami Heat, when the coronavirus shut down filming in Miami.

“It was unfortunate, but we all understand the need to save lives,” said Prudius.

Miami Heat stars Prudius as a dad who searches for his daughter after she is abducted by a ruthless sex trafficking ring.

“I have to kill the bad guys,” Oleg said with a laugh. “Easy for me to do.”

Supporting the FDNY and First Responders

Our IPZ family knows I serve as the vice-chair of the FDNY Foundation. These past five weeks have been especially hard on our first responders, including those in the FDNY, both firefighters and EMS personnel.

Thanks to Bill Schwartz, CEO and founding partner of Vector Media, and a fellow FDNY Foundation Board member, New Yorkers are being reminded that our first responders need our support now.

Thanks Bill. And thanks to the members of the FDNY who are working around the clock to help New York…and first responders around the country who are on the front lines in fighting this pandemic.

For more information or to contribute, please visit www.fdnyfoundation.org

Emily Clayton Joins IPZ as Client Sponsorships Manager

Emily Clayton has joined IPZ as Client Sponsorships Manager, effective April 1.

A 2018 graduate of The University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, and Specialization in Sport and Entertainment Management, Emily worked in the Corporate Partnerships department for the Miami Heat during Dwyane Wade’s final season. After the 2018-19 basketball season, she transitioned to the agency side of sports and entertainment management as an event coordinator at Octagon.

A North Carolina native and resident, Emily is a certified personal trainer, as well as a certified nutrition coach.

“I look forward to working with IPZ’s clients in their endeavors outside of their chosen sport or media,” Clayton said. “With new technological advances and social media platforms, I know each of our clients will find a niche tailored to their own interests. It’s my job to help them find those opportunities.”

“In her first few weeks, Emily has brought enthusiasm, out-of-the-box thinking and a disciplined approach to her role that we hope pays dividends for our clients,” said IPZ Managing Partner, Robert Zito. “Best of all, she doesn’t hesitate to pick up the phone call and call people – sometimes a missing talent with today’s young professionals.”

Business Insider: 451 Media, Oleg Prudius Sign Deal To Develop Mythical Character

Former WWE Star the influence for new character, Rogan

NEW YORKSept. 30, 2019 – 451 Media Group has signed an agreement with Oleg Prudius to develop a series based on an all new mythical character, Rogan, God of Gods, the company announced today.

451 Media Group is a diversified media, tech and entertainment company co-founded by Michael BayAnthony GentileJohn Gentile and Doug Nunes, that empowers original and mainstream creators across film, TV, immersive VR/AR, mobile gaming, digital content, and publishing.  451’s portfolio includes original IP from such acclaimed talents as Scott RosenbergGeorge PelecanosRob Cohen and Mark Mallouk and many more.  451 is also a strategic investor with a portfolio in a range of innovative media technology companies.

“Meeting Oleg led to us developing this character which he can embody and bring to life,” said 451 co-founder Anthony Gentile. “It was a first for us as all of our previous characters had been based on fictional characters; it allowed us to incorporate those unique aspects of Oleg’s bigger-than-life persona that so impressed and fascinated us, and to create a wholly new original character and mythology. We are all thrilled to have ‘The Big O’ in our 451 family.”

Prudius wrestled under the name “Vladimir Kozlov, The Moscow Mauler.” He won the WWE Tag Team Championship with his partner Santino Marella and regularly fought against the biggest names in the sport including Triple H, The Undertaker, Jeff Hardy and Shawn Michael. Prudius was also the 2005 USA Open Heavyweight Sambo Champion. Since becoming an actor, Prudius has logged 21 credits which include roles in The Fate of the Furious and John Wick: Chapter 2 and, most recently, in season two of Marvel’s The Punisher. His most significant role came as the strong man “Bear” in the action thriller and billion dollar box office hit Wolf Warrior II.

“I am honored that 451 is developing the character Rogan with me as the model,” said Prudius. “I owe so much to Vince McMahon and WWE for giving me the opportunity to build my personal brand, and now I must thank Anthony and the team at 451 for opening even more doors.  As I have researched my ancestry, the character of Rogan could easily have been my ancestral blood. This is a project I am so deeply excited to develop.”

“Oleg is an amazingly talented and dedicated professional,” said Robert Zito, Managing Partner of IPZ, which represents Prudius. “He is a phenomenal ambassador for brands, and will literally go through walls to make his projects successful. We could not be more happy for him.”

About 451 Media Group:  451 Media Group is a full spectrum media entertainment company that builds its own IP and portfolio of exclusive transmedia brands to provide the highest quality stories, characters, and engaging new worlds. 451 utilizes leading advancements in mobile and online technology, and other innovative media channels to develop and launch its IP and brands across all worldwide platforms.  For more information, visit www.4five1.com.

About IPZ: IPZ represents clients in sports, media, and entertainment, providing management, contract negotiations, consulting, public relations and marketing communications support. The company, an alliance with Zito Partners, is built on the integrity of its professionals, maintains a family focus, and provides whole life solutions for its clients. For more information, visit www.ipzusa.com.

To view on Business Insider, click here.

FOX Sits Down with Oleg Prudius

Former WWE Superstar Oleg Prudius (aka Vladimir Kozlov) talks to FOX5NY about who would make him come out of fighting retirement.

Oleg Prudius Challenges Brock Lesnar to MMA Fight

Former WWE Tag Team Champion “The Moscow Mauler” Vladimir Kozlov was recently a guest on The Roman Show. Kozlov said that he would like to challenge current WWE Universal Champion and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar to a mixed martial arts fight.

Before signing with WWE back in 2006, Kozlov did have a fairly extensive background in various different forms of Martial Arts, including kickboxing, Russian Sambo, Judo, amateur wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu.

Kozlov said the following on The Roman Show:

Wanting to face Brock Lesnar in an MMA fight:

“When I got signed with the WWE and when I was undefeated for a couple of years, fans wanted to see if I could fight Brock Lesnar. But at the time, I couldn’t find him because he left the WWE and he went to the UFC,” he said. “Since I left the WWE, he got back to the WWE from the UFC, so we couldn’t face each other. Right now everyone is asking me if I would challenge Brock Lesnar in an MMA fight. I am telling you if were to get this opportunity, I would like to face this animal. I would put in all my hard work. I will give up my productions. I’ll give up my movies, everything, to compete with the best athlete in the world, Brock Lesnar. He is strong, professional. I think the person who fights him deserves it because he is a legend. If I get this opportunity, I will train hard and face this animal. I spoke to Scott Coker of Bellator. At the time I was busy with productions,” he said. “I was in many projects because of traveling, but for a big fight like that, I will train and put everything on the table.”

Possibly returning to WWE in the future:

“WWE stays in my heart,” he said. “I am popular because of the WWE. When I used to wrestle, I created a fan base. Even in China, they know me because of WWE. The WWE is one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world. I didn’t think of joining the WWE because I was busy, but if the opportunity will come then we can figure it out. I have a management group who decides what we are supposed to do. Let’s see what happens.”

C.M. Punk’s MMA career:

“He is a great guy. He is a hard worker. This guy can sacrifice himself to follow his dream,” he said. “Since he left the WWE, his dream was to fight in the UFC. I think he can put on a very nice fight. I like C.M. Punk. He is a nice guy.”

View the story at Wrestling News Source.

First Impressions Go a Long Way

A guy walked into a room…

No, not a joke.

It’s about first impressions.

We deal with clients every day…and meet potential clients regularly.

How someone enters a room sets the tone for the meeting.

Consider our experience last week.

A major American brand exec is late for a dinner meeting. But he is so apologetic and humble that did we even care? Absolutely not.

A “hulk” of a man is also late for a lunch…but, again, humble…and fun as he explains why.  This is a guy who is already a star, and – we hope with our help – will be an even bigger star. But, again…his humility spoke volumes. Fortunately for us, he’s now a client.

And as for this one, it was one of those moments because of its sincerity I will never forget.  I had read about his accomplishments, and his nickname (The Boa Constrictor) said it all…but when he walked into the room there was a calm and peaceful aura that was inescapable. Somewhat shy…soft spoken…and sincere.

Then he told me about what had happened with his daughter just a few days earlier. We asked him to capture his story in print, and ABC has used it and will be doing a piece for an upcoming television special. It brought me back to 9/11…and the first call I was able to make to my family. They’ve told me how they felt, and I can only imagine what was going through his mind.

There has been a lot going on in our IPZ group, but meeting these three last week was a great reminder — sincerity…humility…and first impressions go a long, long way.

OLEG PRUDIUS SIGNS WITH IPZ

Former WWE Superstar (a.k.a. Vladimir Kozlov) to be Represented by Both Combat Sports and Entertainment Divisions

WARREN, NJ, February 27, 2018 – Oleg Prudius, also known as Vladimir Kozlov from his days as a WWE Superstar, has signed with IPZ, the company announced today.

Prudius officially began his career as an entertainer in 2002 and one of his first projects was Spike Lee’s 2002 film 25th Hour in which he played a small role. The following year, Prudius appeared in multiple episodes of the HBO series The Wire.

The six-foot-three Ukrainian-American then took a short break from acting to pursue combat sports competitively. In 2005, Prudius became the USA Open Heavyweight Sambo Champion and a United States Kick-Boxing Association (USKBA) International Heavyweight Grappling Champion.

A year later, Prudius decided to combine his expertise in combat sports with his passion for entertaining and embarked on his journey as a professional wrestler. In December 2006, Prudius made an appearance as a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) prospect on Raw under the name Vladimir Kozlov. The ring name stuck.

From 2006 to 2011, Kozlov was a mainstay on the brand’s various programs: WWE Raw, WWE SmackDown, WWE NXT, and WWE Superstars. Simultaneously, from 2007 to 2010, Kozlov also played a significant role in a show created by WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon called Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).

Prudius dove into another element of entertainment when he voiced his character Vladimir Kozlov in two video games: WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2011 and WWE ’12.

Kozlov competed in his last WWE match on an episode of SmackDown that aired on August 5, 2011. Prudius decided to continue his professional wrestling career in Japan for the Inoki Genome Federation and assumed a somewhat new ring name, Alexander Kozlov. On October 16, 2012, Prudius retired from professional wrestling.

Since, Prudius has returned to acting in films and television shows. In 2013, he starred in 30 Cuts Deep and appeared in an episode of USA Network’s Burn Notice.

In 2016, the WWE did a Where Are They Now? feature on Prudius and it has amassed the most views of any in the series with more than 1.2 million and counting.

In 2017, Prudius had roles in three films, all hits in the box office. He appeared in John Wick: Chapter 2 and the eighth installment of the famed Fast & Furious franchise, The Fate of the Furious. The third and most recent film he acted in is the second highest-grossing film of all-time in a single market. Wolf Warrior 2 grossed more than $874 million in the Chinese box office and it became the only non-Hollywood film ever to be included in the list of 100 all-time highest-grossing films worldwide. Prudius played the role of Bear, the muscle of the villains.

“For an athlete, pro-wrestler, actor and producer like me, the notion of a brand or product with recognizable quality is paramount,” said Prudius. “I have achieved the highest accolades in combat sports, built a recognizable name in the WWE and the entertainment industry, but I always strive to get to the next level – to create a name brand like Michael Jordan or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Bob Zito, managing partner of IPZ, has an impeccable reputation, experience and understanding of business, a wide network of contacts across various industries ranging from entertainment and sports to pharmaceuticals and finance. I like the fact that Bob was able to put together a young team of dedicated people that have vision, knowledge, a worldwide reach and all the other necessary tools to produce great results and benefits for everyone involved. This is why being represented by IPZ is a sensible choice for me.”

“I’m happy to announce that we, at IPZ, have added Oleg to our Combat Sports and Media + Entertainment groups,” said Alec Savitsky, IPZ’s director of combat sports. “As a champion fighter, former WWE superstar, and accomplished actor, Oleg has built a brand recognized worldwide. We are excited to explore new opportunities with Oleg and help him continue to expand in all facets of his career.”

“Oleg has always attacked everything he does in life with passion, and that will be welcomed by brands,” said Robert Zito, IPZ managing partner. “He also works his butt off, never looking for star treatment. He’s got a blue collar attitude that I personally love.”

About IPZ: IPZ represents clients in sports, media, and entertainment, providing management, contract negotiations, consulting, public relations and marketing communications support. The company, an alliance with Zito Partners, is built on the integrity of its professionals, maintains a family focus, and provides whole life solutions for its clients. For more information, visit www.ipzusa.com.

About Zito Partners: Zito Partners builds, energizes and defends brands. A boutique firm representing a select group of clients from a range of industries, Zito Partners believes in a “ready, aim, fire” approach – understand the client…develop the appropriate strategy against the key target constituencies…and execute against the plan. And through its strategic alliance with Ketchum, Ketchum Zito Financial, Zito Partners is assisting additional clients with their financial communications needs. For more information, visit www.zitopartners.com.