The line between sports and entertainment continues to blur. More agencies are starting to realize that it makes sense to try to build both practices at the same time, as they will risk losing their biggest sports clients if they do not develop valuable relationships in the entertainment space. You don’t want to spend money on a Derek Jeter while he moves up the Minors, only to lose him once he actually starts bringing you commissions you can survive on.
It makes sense that major West Coast agencies continue to grow. Creative Artists Agency was a player in the entertainment world well before it started buying out the largest sports agents/agencies. It figured that its existing model and connections could bring in more revenue than those entities had been receiving in the past. It seems to be doing quite well with that business plan. Another company with broad entertainment connections for its clients is Wasserman Media Group. I don’t know when agent Arn Tellem finds time to sleep, with his enormous list of clients in professional basketball and football. He probably receives over one-hundred calls per day from GMs, reporters, and clients, and still finds time to go on the recruiting trail and find new business. He also keeps his current clients happy, and seems to have a strong connection to the entertainment world through his wife, Nancy Tellem. Nancy is the President of CBS and is in charge of all of its television programming.
Quite the power couple, and it definitely benefits Arn’s clients. Recently, Pau Gasol made an appearance on CSI: Miami. Last year, Gasol and Jordan Farmar appeared on NUMB3RS. Both shows are on CBS, both players are clients of Arn Tellem and WMG. Gasol and Farmar are not the biggest names in the game of basketball, but both of them are playing in Los Angeles, so it is natural for them to want a piece of the limelight.
Want to be a MAJOR player in this industry? Better start cultivating those connections in the entertainment industry, as well.