SBJ/June 6-12, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Bevacqua hire highlights CAA’s golf interests

CAA Sports has sent the signal that it will become more deeply involved in golf with the hiring of former U.S. Golf Association executive Pete Bevacqua.

TIFFIN WARNOCK
Pete Bevacqua spent more than 10 years at the USGA, eventually running the U.S. Open.
Bevacqua joins an executive staff within CAA’s golf practice that includes Andy Pierce and Mike Rielly, a pair that joined CAA in the last two years after stints at IMG.

CAA’s move into golf so far has been marked by high-profile signings like Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Tom Watson, but the agency has moved into the event business as well. The Mission Hills Star Trophy pro-am in China, which debuted last fall, brought actors Hugh Grant and Matthew McConaughey together with Norman and other pros to compete for a $1.28 million check.

CAA also represents Royal Bank of Scotland on corporate consulting in golf.

“Event management was certainly a big part of what I did at the USGA,” said Bevacqua, the former chief business officer at the USGA who started with CAA last week. “There also was a big corporate consulting element to what I did with the USGA’s partners, and I look forward to working across all of those areas.”

Bevacqua spent more than 10 years at the USGA, joining the organization as in-house counsel and eventually running the U.S. Open and overseeing the commercial side of the business. He left in March to seek other opportunities but always preferred to stay in golf, he said.

Bevacqua will work out of CAA’s New York office.

Even though Rielly and Pierce have been known for athlete representation, they will work with Bevacqua across all of CAA’s work in golf, the agency said. Like the China-based Mission Hills event, Bevacqua sees many of those future opportunities coming overseas.

“The future of golf is international,” he said. “There will always be a critical need here for the majors and the PGA Tour, but the growth of the game is going to be internationally based.”

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