In May 2010, word spread that Kevin O’Connor was going to become COO of Lagardère Unlimited. O’Connor had served as President of Saddlebrook Properties, which offered training for tennis, football, baseball and hockey players. Around that time, O’Connor had the following to say about Lagardère’s entrance into the world of sports representation:
“They are fully committed to doing it and understand it is a long-term play. I certainly see Lagardère becoming part of the big three.”
O’Connor became COO of Lagardère Unlimited and it did not take him long to take the company to the top of the realm of athlete representation, fighting alongside the best agencies for top talent and leading strategic acquisitions of its competitors to enter new sports and bolster its existing divisions. He took the executive position after Lagardère purchased Blue Entertainment Sports Television (“BEST”), which was founded by Jonathan Blue, Chairman and Managing Director of Blue Equity, LLC.
For some time there had been rumors that O’Connor would be stepping down from his position as COO of Lagardère Unlimited. The official announcement came on May 29, when it was stated that O’Connor will be moving on to become a Senior Advisor to Arnaud Lagardère, the General and Managing Partner of Lagardère SCA. Based on the Managing Partner’s public statement, it appears that the change is viewed to be an extension of O’Connor’s relationship with the parent company; however, some industry insiders question the type of role O’Connor will fill in his new position.
As of now, there has been no appointed successor to O’Connor at Lagardère Unlimited.