William Morris Endeavor (WME) landed a massive coup this week with the signing of Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton. He was previously managed by Simon Fuller at XIX Management. Lewis’ contract with XIX ended last month and he decided not to renew.
Hamilton has one year remaining on his 3 year, £51 million contract with racing team Mercedes. This figure does not include bonuses, which could take that figure to more than £60 million. He has already been offered a new 5 year contract worth an estimated £100 million, though this figure may increase due to the large contracts signed by his counterparts. Just last month, Sebatian Vettel made the switch from Red Bull to Ferrari, putting pen to a deal which sees his annual salary in the vicinity of £50 million. It is not known whether WME will act as agent on his F1 contract.
The endorsement market for an F1 driver is somewhat restricted, with most of their sponsors being linked with their racing team. Bombardier and IWC Shaffhausen are his only partners outside of the Mercedes team’s sponsors.
Lewis chose the much varied WME to expand on his opportunities outside of F1. This includes delving into industries including music, film and fashion. The recently crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year is hoping to transcend his brand outside of sport.
It is not known who will be Hamilton’s lead agent at WME, though it is safe to assume that they will work out of the firm’s London office.