SBD/Issue 217/Sports Industrialists

CAA Adds Former IMG Hockey Bosses Pat Brisson, J.P. Barry

Brisson (l), Barry To Join CAA

Former IMG Hockey co-Managing Dirs PAT BRISSON and J.P. BARRY have joined Creative Artists Agency (CAA), creating CAA Hockey. Some NHLers that will be repped by CAA Hockey include Penguins C SIDNEY CROSBY, Blue Jackets C SERGEI FEDOROV, Rangers RW JAROMIR JAGR, Maple Leafs C MATS SUNDIN, Sharks C JOE THORNTON and Senators RW DANIEL ALFREDSSON. The deal marks the fourth major acquisition of a sports practice and the third former IMG athlete representation practice acquired by CAA since April (THE DAILY).

CHANGES FOR IMG: In Toronto, Brian Milner writes under the header, “IMG Radically Alters Its Business Plan.” IMG Canada Managing Dir BRAD PELLETIER said having a roster of big-name clients “was a great calling card, but we were always tainted by the level of behaviour we as an industry were partly responsible for creating.” Milner also notes the agency business has “become a low-margin business thanks to the advent of league salary caps, restrictions on how much rookies can make and the intense competition.” IMG’s hockey and baseball practices “each accounted for less than 1[%] of IMG’s total revenue and football for slightly more than” 2%. IMG Sports & Entertainment President GEORGE PYNE said, “We are focused on models where we can vertically integrate the resources of the company.” Univ. of Oregon Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Managing Dir PAUL SWANGARD said of IMG, “The steps that they’re taking are a recognition that the sports agency business is undergoing a rather momentous change. Where they’ve seen a lot of success (in media and consulting) is now going to be a good part of their core business moving forward” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 8/8).

MALKIN: Despite reports that ’04 Penguins draft pick EVGENI MALKIN “has reworked his contract to play” for his Russian team, Mettallurg Magnitogorsk, in ’06-07, Barry said that Malkin “still wants to play for the Penguins this season and talks are continuing to bring him here.” The new deal reportedly would keep Malkin in Russia this season and allow him to join the Penguins in ’07-08, but Barry said, “It’s still his wish and desire to play for Pittsburgh this season. We’re going to look at every means possible to make that happen.” In Pittsburgh, Robert Dvorchak notes Russia was the lone world hockey federation not to sign a transfer agreement with the NHL, despite having agreed in principle to a deal over the summer that included a fee of $200,000 per player. The Russian clubs “apparently want much higher payment for star players, which in Malkin’s case is believed to be” $2M (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/8).

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