by Christian Duque
There is such a thing as managers going too far or accountants not keeping the best books or social media managers treating the fans like trash. Wait what? What’s being said here? Well what’s being said deals with top tier celebrities making sure that their camps are in order. While mega stars have a great many obligations to attend to they have to be very careful when it comes to who they delegate duties to. This can get extra challenging when those being delegated to have a history with the star.
In the instant case Hadi’s manager was a longtime friend with whom he also had a real friendship. Some might argue that you should never mix business with pleasure and while that’s a valid point it’s also not entirely realistic. One can’t help but trust those who have a consistent track record of showing character and loyalty. I think that if someone worked their tail off for me and had my best interests at heart all the time that eventually I’d start to open up to them. That’s just basic human nature. The problem is when that other person begins to take actions without checking with their client that it can turn into a runaway train.
It’s one thing to act in someone’s best interests within the parameters set by your employer but it’s quite another to then start making calls independently. Moreover it gets really dicey when the moves no longer even have anything to do with the employer but are wholly for the personal gain of the agent. This happens when self-interest takes hold and this is something that Hollywood stars, in particular, have seen happen with their most trusted agents, accountants, fan club presidents and even shrinks! Yes, even mental health professionals have used their positions to enrich themselves with their A List clients. This is why celebs can delegate duties but must always have a very watchful eye.
Hadi Choopan is one of the greatest bodybuilders in the world. To some he’s an uncrowned Mr. Olympia. He’s won major titles in both 212 and Open Bodybuilding, including the coveted Mr. Olympia People’s Champion award. He’s become the face of the sport throughout Persia and the Middle East. The fact is anything Hadi looks at turns into gold. And that’s because of an ironclad work ethic that involves a true commitment to hard work in the gym and not a lot of trash talk. Hadi has elements of Ronnie, Branch, and Dorian. When you do see or hear from him it’s when you see him pushing himself to the limit in the gym or eating meal after meal. Not only doesn’t he rag on his fellow competitors – he doesn’t need to. As one of the most dense and hardest guys on stage, he’s a guy who lets his physique do all the talking. He’s a joy to be around backstage and on stage. He shows his colleagues respect and he’s all about great sportsmanship.
The fact is Hadi Choopan could very well be the model for how all bodybuilders act. He sets a great example and he’s true to it; however, because he’s so committed to everything that’s required in being the best athlete he can be, I’m sure there’s things he overlooks on other fronts.
When it comes to the use of his name and likeness, I’m sure that Hadi’s former manager was probably able to fly under the radar when it came to making a few bucks off his star client’s name. It’s like the guy who gets arrested for DUI or picking up a hooker. When they tell the judge that that was their first time do you think most judges buy that? The accused would have to have the worst luck in the world if that were true. The fact is most people get caught doing wrong when they’ve done it a number of times before. The thing is the error in their ways finally catches up to them. Other times they just get sloppy or don’t care. Perhaps Hadi’s former manager got more and more careless the more he used his client’s name. So how did he get caught?
I personally don’t think Choopan is the one that noticed what was going on. Perhaps Hadi had some idea and perhaps he was planning on addressing it at some point. The question is why now? And why the drastic move of firing the manager. I suspect if the manager had been warned in the past this would have been a moot issue. That said second chances shouldn’t be given out like hotcakes. When a manager or agent exceeds their authority and violates that very special trust, that’s grounds for immediate termination as far as I’m concerned. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hadi’s decision was made as a result of his coach/sponsor’s influence.
While Hadi does make great money from the contests he competes in and from his guest posing appearances his main livelihood comes from his work with Evogen Nutrition. As we all know contest winnings alone are nowhere near enough to keep top bodybuilders afloat.
Hany Rambod is more than The Persian Wolf’s coach and friend. As the owner of the supplement company who sponsors him he has a vested interest in Hadi Choopan as a brand. Everytime Choopan gets a check from EN the company is expecting a return on that investment. Its ROI comes from a variety of factors. It hinges on the star’s relevance, his contest record, and in what his name/likeness can become. The company, through its industry pull and social media efforts, works tirelessly to ensure that its star athlete’s popularity continues to grow. The more popular and respected Hadi is, the greater influence he’ll have over the supplement-buying public. The more people associate Hadi with the Evogen, the greater name-brand recognition the line develops. This carries over into how much distributors and retailers order as well. It also plays a role at the store-level – from the huge chains to the mom and pop shops looking to order the fastest selling products for their shelves.
Evogen is Hadi’s top sponsor and as such they would be cheated if other companies started to capitalize off of his endorsements – whether directly or indirectly. This is where Hadi’s ousted manager’s actions probably got on Rambod’s and/or EN’s radar. And it’s their reaction which in my opinion probably prompted the drastic move to boot the guy. That said, no one at Iron Magazine is sympathetic to the fired manager. If anything we want to sound the alarms!!
What happened to Hadi could have happened to any top fitness celebrity. It’s not to say he was careless or incompetent. The fact is social media is a vast realm and there’s always something going on. Whether it’s as plain as day or as subtle as can be. Most of the shady stuff will fall into the latter category. The associations will be indirect. The language will be vague. Take reposting for example. There’s a number of companies that repost athletes who they have absolutely no connection with. They don’t pay them a salary – hell, they don’t even send them complimentary products. They simply repost their posts, stories, and/or reels. In many cases they do so without the star’s permission. While they may tag the star that’s wholly different than doing so with their consent. That’s an indirect way of taking benefit without having the moral right to do so. And it can go from something like that to working with a trusted representative of a major celebrity knowing that that celebrity is being kept in the dark. There’s companies out there that have no moral scruples with getting down like that. At the end of the day, all they care about is making money. They haven’t cared about their consciences in years – if ever!!
Celebrities need to be on their game. They need to be critical of everyone, especially those who have the authority – whether directly or indirectly – to capitalize on their name and likeness. Remember, if a star works with someone that the industry sees as that star’s bonafide representative, they will often not question what said person says or does. Therefore, the star needs to employ some quality control from time to time. Many don’t because as friendships develop with longstanding employees they may not want to ruffle feathers. Well I say – RUFFLE THEM! Celebrities need to be on their game and that most definitely includes in business!