CAA Expands Sports Business Activities To Combat Growth Of Rival Talent Agencies
CAA has "long been the unquestioned No. 1 agency in Hollywood," but now its "dominance is threatened" by rival William Morris Endeavor, which in December spent $2.4B to acquire IMG Worldwide, according to Fritz & Schwartzel of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. A combined WME-IMG "comprises about 4,500 employees -- three times the size of CAA." While WME's roster of movie star talent "doesn't match CAA's, its sports business is now much larger." CAA "has expanded more organically, but its evolution over the past decade has been one of the most dramatic in Hollywood." The agency over the past few years has "helped sell sponsorship rights" for Levi's Stadium and "opened an office in Geneva to manage European soccer rights." CAA's activities have "grown so complex and so far afield of traditional entertainment that few in Hollywood are aware of them all." Its "biggest source of growth has been its sports unit," which launched in '06 and now has "more than 150 agents and 800 clients." While negotiating contracts for stars like Broncos QB Peyton Manning and Saints QB Drew Brees is "flashy, it isn't too profitable, with commissions under 5%." So CAA, like other sports agencies, has "diversified into related businesses, like advising sports marketers and leagues and helping to sell stadium naming rights." The agency in November helped Heat G Dwyane Wade "sell a television show" based on his new book (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/4).