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SBJ/20090323/Forty Under 40
Published March 23, 2009
Mike Principe was hired in 2006 by entrepreneur Jonathan Blue to start a new, multisport talent representation, media and events company.
Blue hired Principe after he worked for Bob Sillerman, rolling up a number of sports management and marketing firms to create the former SFX Sports. That firm had become one of the biggest agencies in sports but unraveled among a clash of egos after Clear Channel Corp. purchased it in 2000.
When Principe first met Blue, “He said,‘Build me a sports agency that works.’ ”
Principe appears to be doing just that.
Over the last 2 1/2 years, Principe identified and acquired 10 different sports and entertainment practices, including the former SFX tennis, television and events groups, and the practices of prominent NFL agent Joel Segal and top NBA agent Dan Fegan.
Today, Blue Entertainment Sports Television (BEST) represents more than 200 athletes, including NFL players Reggie Bush and Santonio Holmes, tennis’ Andy Roddick and retired great Justine Henin, and NBA players Shawn Marion, Rasheed Wallace and Yi Jianlian. Additionally, its television division represents the U.S. Tennis Association, Boston Marathon and French Open. BEST either produces the events or sells the rights for the properties, or both.
“I think that what went wrong with SFX was we were too big a company within an even larger company,” Principe conceded. “BEST is going to be different. We have installed a clear business plan and vision, and have an intense focus on inter-company communication and cooperation.”
Blue added, “From an age standpoint, Mike is young, yet has an unusually high level of experience for situations due to the fact that he has participated in this sector for so many years prior to joining us. ... He understands the requirements of each position’s critical role with respect to the success of the organization.”