CAA adds Kauffman Sports Management, bolsters list of coaching clients
CAA Sports has acquired Kauffman Sports Management, a pioneer agency in the business of representing professional and college basketball coaches, which counts Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins among its clients.
Spencer Breecker, managing partner of Kauffman Sports, will join CAA Sports as head of CAA Sports Basketball Coaches and Executives. Agency founder Steve Kauffman will serve in an advisory role to the division. Breecker will work out of Creative Artists Agency’s Los Angeles office and will report to Jimmy Sexton, CAA Sports head of coaching and executives.
“We are big fans of Steve and Spencer and have always admired the great work they have done for their clients,” said CAA Sports co-head Howard Nuchow. “As we continue to grow our coaching division, under the leadership of Jimmy Sexton, we believe that Spencer and Steve’s collaborative approach to client service will be a great fit, and their clients will benefit greatly from CAA’s global resources in sports, entertainment, enterprise and beyond.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
CAA Sports has an existing practice of representing many NBA head coaches. Those existing clients include the Milwaukee Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer, Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra, Philadelphia 76ers’ Brett Brown, Charlotte Hornets’ James Borrego and Brooklyn Nets’ Kenny Atkinson.
“The additions of Spencer and Steve to our coaches and executives division further solidifies CAA Sports’ leadership position in the marketplace,” Sexton said.
Kauffman’s clients also include Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone and Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams, plus Clifford and Jenkins. With the acquisition, CAA Sports now represents nine of the 30 NBA head coaches.
Kauffman Sports also represents college basketball head coaches, including Dartmouth’s head coach David McLaughlin, Portland’s Terry Porter, U.S. Naval Academy’s Ed DeChellis, and U.S Air Force Academy’s Dave Pilipovich.
Kauffman started in the sports business more than 40 years ago. “My very first client in the sports business was Muhammad Ali; I did his taxes,” Kauffman said. “I then founded Kauffman Sports Management Group in 1978, where I was working with all types of people, including Charles Barkley, Donnie Walsh, Monty Williams, Doc Rivers, and so many others.”
Kauffman moved from representing players to representing coaches in 2008. He brought on Breecker to help him with the coaching business 10 years ago. “I’ve had so many great clients and built so many great relationships through this industry and I’m extremely thankful for that,” Kauffman said. “I have really enjoyed this profession.”
Breecker said the added resources and network that CAA brings will be “enormously beneficial” to their coaching clients. “While basketball continues to surge in popularity worldwide, so have the profiles of our coaching clients, and CAA has all the resources to put them in the best position to help accomplish their personal and professional goals.”
CAA competes with several small and large agencies, including CSE Talent, for coach representation. And late last year, Bret Just, an agent who represents many college basketball coaches, left CAA and joined WME.