Send it in, big fella!
January 24, 2013 12:23 PM   Subscribe

My fiancee loves Bill Raftery and I would love to get a signed photograph for him, but I can't figure out how to make contact.

I've tried many googles, but all I can find up with are the following:
  • Contact for speaking engagements- Looks suspicious and not like a reasonable avenue for this search.
  • Similar "how to hire" sites: here, here
  • ebay posting for an autograph. Not what I want. Hoping for (1) photo and (2) customized/personalized message.
  • His twitter. This doesn't seem like an appropriate request for twitter and I don't use twitter. I am also 100% certain my fiancee follows him on twitter.
  • ESPN MediaZone's page doesn't have any real info, but I sent them an email a few months ago, with no luck.

Ideally, what I'd request is a signed photo with a witty/appropriate wedding-related saying involving his catchphrase "Onions!" (Just want to lay it all out here, just in case.)

I'm not really sure where to move forward with a request or other avenues to pursue. Any ideas? Anyone have an "in" with the big man himself? What am I not thinking of?
posted by Flamingo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
Hang out at an on campus bar post-game.

Seriously - I would just email him again or try tweeting him. He has a rep for being a super friendly guy.
posted by JPD at 12:28 PM on January 24, 2013

Quick follow up:
Does he run his own twitter? Can anyone find a direct email address for him?
posted by Flamingo at 1:09 PM on January 24, 2013

My sister-in-law got my brother's favorite book signed by the author with a personalized little note. She sent a package to him c/o his publishing company. The package included:

- a letter introducing herself and talking about my brother and why the writer was so important to him.
- a jar of homemade caramels
- the book she wanted to be signed
- the paid packaging for sending the book back

She got the signed book back, and a very nice note from the writer thanking her for including the postage back.
posted by punchtothehead at 1:45 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think you need to find out his agent's name and contact info. Also, if you send him a private message on Twitter, your fiance will not see it even if he follows Bill.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:26 PM on January 24, 2013

Thoughts on the Twitter route:

In terms of ordinary folks initiating contact with famous people, Twitter seems to be the most widely used (and probably most successful) method.

In order for Flamingo to send Raftery a private message on Twitter, Raftery needs to be following Flamingo's (hypothetical) Twitter account. A quick glance at Raftery's Twitter shows that he follows a grand total of 13 people and appears to use it only a couple times a week, so getting him to follow Flamingo's Twitter account seems unlikely.

You can tweet at someone publicly without them needing to follow you, but you say that your fiancee follows Raftery's Twitter, so this ruins the surprise aspect of the gift.

The roundabout way I can think of to deal with this would be to create a new Twitter account, block your fiancee's Twitter, and then tweet at Raftery. I don't know if this would be as likely to work because the request might seem weirder coming from a clearly brand-new Twitter account (no previous tweets, no other followers), but in terms of circumventing the problem of your fiancee seeing if you tweet at Raftery, this should do it.

Or, you could have a friend with an established Twitter account block your boyfriend's Twitter and tweet the request at Raftery for you.
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston at 5:56 AM on January 25, 2013

Okay, so here's the summary:

-Twitter won't work because: (1) Bill doesn't follow my non-existent twitter account (and won't as per empirical evidence) so I can't send him a DM, (2) my BF follows him and might get tipped off* if I tweet at him (3) from a brand new account, which makes it look weird and suspicious
-I should 'contact his agent and get Bill's contact number'. Yep, I know that. That's the point of the question.
-Bill does not have a publishing company. He is a sports announcer. Should I ever be able to make contact with him, I'll send him an SASE.
-I don't have an email address for him so I can't "email him again"
-He stopped coaching in 1981, he is not affiliated with a college now, and he does commentary for basketball games all over. So going to a "campus bar" is not practical or logical.

So we're kind of nowhere on this, which is what I figured.

*Basketball pun!
posted by Flamingo at 6:38 AM on January 30, 2013

Here is how I would get his agent's contact info. I would contact someone at in the broadcast department. I know they are an agent business that reps celebrities, sports figures, announcers, etc. I do not know if they rep Bill. Use one of the emails on the site and ask if they rep Bill. If they do, great! If they don't ask if they can tell you who does. I have a friend who used to work there and was able to get a certain famous person to record a voice mail for a friend's 50th birthday. Agents can and will do nice things like that and should be willing to help you surprise your boyfriend.

Call CAA too if these guys don't work. I also bet that his old college with know who his agent is. Call the sports information department.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:56 PM on January 30, 2013

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