If Jay Wisse misses a business call at home, his daughters sometimes get more than a name and number. They often get a history lesson after Dad sees who has called and drags out a sports almanac to show them the statistics and stories behind the voice on the line.
Wisse, 46, is president and CEO of Wisse, Hollmann & Co., a Raleigh agency that represents athletes, artists and sports-property clients. Its clients include more than 50 retired jocks such as former Miami Dolphins fullback Larry Csonka, former Atlanta Braves pitcher Phil Niekro and former Boston Celtics guard Bob Cousy. In addition to securing sponsorships, speaking engagements and appearances for its athletes, the company represents four artists and four professional BMX stunt teams and works for such clients such as the National Basketball Association's San Antonio Spurs and the Alamo Bowl.
After a stint in the Navy, the Paramus, N.J., native graduated from UNC Greensboro in 1985 with a bachelor's in English and landed a job at a now-defunct Raleigh radio station selling ads on high-school football broadcasts. "I loved what I was doing and thought, 'If I can do this, I can certainly do it for the NFL and Major League Baseball teams.'"
He joined New York-based ad agency Katz Media Communications in 1987 as an account executive. He also worked in Katz's offices in Los Angeles...