WME Sports Brings On Brian Ayrault To Head Football Division
WME Sports has hired NFL agent Brian Ayrault to head its new football division. He starts at WME this week, based in Atlanta, and will report to WME Sports co-Heads Jordan Bazant, Josh Pyatt and Karen Brodkin. Ayrault most recently worked at CAA Sports, which he left on Aug. 20, where he co-represented Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Chargers DE Joey Bosa, 49ers DE Nick Bosa, and other players. Ayrault has been hired to lead the NFL player on-the-field representation business, a bit of a pivot for WME Sports, which has historically represented star team sports athletes for marketing and other non-playing contract work. WME Sports already represents Burrow for off-the-field work. At CAA Sports, multiple agents represent players and are on the NFLPA's Standard Representation Agreement. Ayrault was the first name listed on Burrow's SRA and reportedly negotiated Joey Bosa's five-year, $135M contract with the Chargers in late July. He has represented or co-represented 20 first-round NFL draft picks in his 16-year career as an agent. It is not clear which clients, if any, will follow Ayrault to WME Sports, but generally speaking, players stay with the agents with whom they have the closest relationship.
SORTING OUT THE DETAILS: When an NFL agent leaves one agency and joins another, the players who are co-represented by agents at both agencies typically terminate the old SRA and re-sign a new SRA with the agents at one agency or the other. There is a five-day waiting period for NFL players to re-sign a new SRA. It was not clear at press time if this has occurred with any clients Ayrault co-represented. At CAA Sports, Ayrault worked closely with NFL agent Todd France, who left CAA Sports on Aug. 7 after they mutually agreed to part ways. It is still not clear what agency France may join or if he will launch his own agency. Ayrault was first certified by the NFLPA to represent NFL players in '05. He had his own firm, Ayrault Sports Agency, which he ran for six years in a partnership with Terry and Kim Pegula, prior to their purchase of the Bills. In '11, Ayrault joined France's old firm, Five Star Athlete Management Group. Ayrault joined CAA Sports in '15 when the agency acquired France's firm.