SBJ/July 17 - 23, 2006/Media

SFX foursome evolves into new company

Four former executives from SFX Sports Group and SFX Media Group are expected to announce this week the formation of Evolution LLC. The company will be based in Manhattan and will feature two divisions: Evolution Media Talent and Evolution Management & Marketing.

Rick Diamond and Seth Mayeri will lead the Media Talent division, while Josh Schwartz and Brian Samuels will head the Management & Marketing department.

“We’re not just close colleagues, we are close friends,” Mayeri, 35, said. “There was no other way to do it. This is just what we wanted.”

Diamond and Mayeri were able to bring over nearly all of their 80 to 100 clients from SFX. They represent talent in news and entertainment, and the biggest names who are now under the Evolution umbrella are CBS/Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis, ABC/ESPN’s Eric Wynalda and NBC’s Bud Collins.

Before forming the company, Diamond and Mayeri first had to work out an agreement with SFX to keep their clients. Diamond described the process as “amicable.” Neither he nor Mayeri would give details about what they agreed upon.

Diamond and Mayeri both broke into the business 13 years ago under Art Kaminsky at Athletes and Artists. They stayed with it as it transferred from the Marquee Group to SFX and then finally to Clear Channel, so they have gone from a small business to a conglomerate.

“Now, here we are part of a small business again, so it is kind of like full-circle,” Diamond, 37, said. “Seth and I will continue to focus on representing media talent. Our partners, Josh and Brian, will handle talent marketing and other areas such as television production and development.”

Is this the real game or the painstakingly
reconstructed DirecTV ad? (It’s the former.)
Recently, Samuels was the talent coordinator for Spike TV’s “Pros vs. Joes.” After helping to bring in the likes of Jerry Rice, Bo Jackson and John Rocker, Samuels was promoted to senior producer. Under the new Evolution umbrella, Schwartz will also play a part in producing “Pros vs. Joes.”

The staff is currently “five and growing,” Diamond said, adding, “Our goal is to continue to build on what we did before but now in an environment where we are a small business, where we are our own bosses and [where] we can help [our clients] achieve their goals ourselves and not have to worry about corporate parents’ objections and things like that.”

DIRECT-TD: In DirecTV’s new ad campaign, it appears that the Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning is taking a moment from throwing a touchdown pass to discuss the merits of NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package. While diehard fans will be able to tell what was staged and what was real, the shots are pretty seamless because the producers of the ad, Deutsch, Los Angeles, did not just place Manning in front of a blue Computer Generating Imagery screen.

Instead, Deutsch rented out the RCA Dome and put Manning and his actual offensive linemen in the exact same position as when he threw the touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 4 last year.

“We spent a lot of time meticulously matching the angles and the cuts and the lighting to really replicate what was actually happening on the field,” said Eric Hirshberg, Deutsch L.A.’s president and chief creative officer.

CAPITAL GAIN: After starting as a New York Knicks public relations intern 12 years ago, Eric Gelfand is leaving his position as vice president of MSG Networks and Sports Public Relations to join Sports Capital Partners. While Gelfand’s new title is undefined, he will oversee marketing and public relations for the group.

“While I will miss the Garden dearly, this is an opportunity that I am extremely excited about and one that I am certainly looking forward to getting started,” Gelfand said.

SCP is a collection of Madison Square Garden employees. Its leaders — Dave Checketts, Mike McCarthy and Ken Munoz — all have Garden ties.

The group just bought the St. Louis Blues and the Savvis Center. It also owns the MLS Real Salt Lake.

With their MSG Networks connections, it wouldn’t be surprising if SCP becomes a major player in television eventually.

Andrew Marchand covers sports media for the New York Post.

Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug