A smoking light fixture popped loudly in the JM studio, spitting sparks and startling Jordan Lee and girlfriend Kristen Agnew just a few steps below.
“That was really scary,” she said.
“This is some hardcore stuff. I didn’t sign up for this,” Lee calmly joked.
Lee threw plenty of sparks in March by posting a record comeback to win the Bassmaster Classic, which is known to ignite a firestorm of attention that's sometimes considered overwhelming. But Lee and Agnew haven’t flinched under fire, instead working to make his career burn more brightly.
“You have to think of the business side bigtime,” said Lee, who was in Little Rock to shoot videos. “It’s probably the most important thing in fishing, and that’s something we’re getting better at every year. We’re learning how to do things the right way.”
Lee said Agnew has always been an immense help. She might still remind him of calls he needs to make, emails to be answered or upcoming appearances, but she’s also been offering more perspective on much of his business dealings.
“It’s like a life experience,” Agnew said. “Once it happens, then you learn from it. We’ve learned how to handle contracts and different deals and what to say. I plan to do things the right way, and that’s why it’s been helpful for me to talk to some of the other women, like Lulu Swindle. I’ve asked her how she does things.”
Certainly the wife of two-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle has great advice. Agnew also knows that Lee’s talent and performance are being marketed, and their value should be recognized.
“It’s helps when you have leverage – how successful he’s been,” Agnew said. “Knowing your worth is really important in negotiating.”