Wasserman Forming New Division To Help Market Women Through Sports
Wasserman reps more than half the members of the USWNT, and the agency is "forming a new division to work with companies to market to women through sports," according to Kevin Draper of the N.Y. TIMES. The new division, called The Collective, will help "connect major companies, consumers and fans of every gender with some of the country's best known female athletes." Wasserman Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman said, "We believe there is a significant opportunity for the athletes to attract meaningfully more marketing engagement and awareness and dollars." The Collective will have a "small staff dedicated to its day-to-day operations, with various Wasserman executives and agents working on The Collective projects." Athletes will "still be represented by their agents, but they will also be supported by The Collective." Casey Wasserman also serves as LA 2028 Chair, and in that capacity he will be a "part of the entity that is selling advertising" for the USOPC and the three preceding Olympics as well. He said that there was "no conflict of interest between representing and selling" LA 2028, and "representing potential Olympic athletes and securing sponsorships for them through efforts like The Collective" (NYTIMES.com, 7/11). Wasserman said, "We represent some of the greatest athletes in the world and we advise big global brands on how they connect with consumers and, obviously, women are an incredibly important part of that consumer base. It's about taking that expertise and that leadership to bring it all together, so we can speak to the scale that's required in the world today under one banner and taking advantage of all of our assets" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 7/11).
WORKING ON OTHER ISSUES: Wasserman claimed that he helped Nike deal with the criticism surrounding its treatment of its sponsored athletes who become pregnant. He said Wasserman Senior VP/Olympics & Women Lindsay Kagawa Colas was "negotiating a contract for one of our clients -- a shoe deal renewal -- and brought it to my attention, that pregnancy was treated very similarly to other injuries for athletes. Wasserman said he "helped where I had relations with Nike." He added, "To Nike's credit, a year-and-a-half ago they made a change in that contract. ... What happened afterwards is Nike didn't go about talking about it in the way they should, but they did the right thing with the clients" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 7/11).