George Pyne, Ben Sutton Leaning Toward Staying At IMG Following WME Acquisition
IMG execs GEORGE PYNE and BEN SUTTON are leaning toward staying with the company in the aftermath of William Morris Endeavor's $2.4B acquisition, according to industry sources. Pyne, the President of IMG Sports & Entertainment, and Sutton, President of IMG College, stayed in L.A. after Monday night's BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl to negotiate their new roles with WME's co-CEOs, ARI EMANUEL and PATRICK WHITESELL. Pyne and Sutton were spotted walking the sidelines of the BCS game with Emanuel, Whitesell and other WME execs. While the talks have progressed and it appears that Pyne and Sutton could lead the new WME sports division, sources say no contracts have yet been signed. It is going to take 3-6 months for the full transfer of IMG's ownership to WME. Contrary to recent reports, which indicated that WME would attempt to renegotiate the purchase price down, the contract is believed to be binding and any renegotiation would come with stiff penalties. WME did have a provision in the purchase contract for a small adjustment in price if IMG had missed its revenue projections for the end of the year. IMG College does significant business during bowl season in December, but sources say the company exceeded its revenue goals.