Remember Entourage? You know, that small time show on HBO that comes back this September after a long (and I mean long) hiatus? Really though, Entourage gives a look into one of the subjects of this sports agent world, the real life Ari Gold. Ari Emanuel founded Endeavor in 1995 after he left acclaimed agency, International Creative Management. The growth of Endeavor over the past decade has been a product of next-level thinking, innovation, risk, and good old fashion luck. Everyone loves an underdog, especially when it comes to sport, so why would it be a surprise that Endeavor has become a thorn in CAA’s side?
As you may know, CAA has taken the sports world by storm over the past couple of years, and has built an industry leader, which was recently ranked #2 in the Sportagentblog.com Sports Agency Power Rankings.
Creative Artists is aggressively expanding into areas like sports and corporate consulting. Endeavor says it has smoothed its rougher, frat house edges and is trying to take advantage of ownership deals, in which Endeavor clients take a stake in their work rather than just being paid a handsome fee.
In the future, with proper education of athletes and their entourages we will see more “entrepreneurial clients” that desire to take ownership of their partnerships. Whether in Hollywood or on the “hardwood” these entertainers will begin to realize their true value, and yes, agents will still be necessary to help talent navigate the seas of success.
Does this business model seem similar to LRMR and Lebron James? Lebron and company have been doing their best to make sure that King James gets equity in any company that wants him as an endorser. The days of star athletes just wearing a sponsor’s products and talking about it in adverts is gone. New models are arising that look to have sustainability.
The questions that I have for Endeavor and CAA are 1) Can the Endeavor business model work at a full-service sports agency? 2) Is it ever possible for a small and savvy agency (ie. CAA) to not lose it’s [Lupe Fiasco] cool? 3) Lastly, within 5 years will all leading sports and entertainment agencies begin to realize their similarities and merge, in order to capitalize on one another’s resources? Only time will tell…until then, leave some comments.