I have been provided the opportunity to sit in on a class taught by ESPN and Sports Illustrated writer Andrew Brandt that is called “Business and Legal Aspects of Professional Sports.” Brandt is teaching the class through Villanova University’s online offering, which makes it easy for anyone to access the content. This article is part of a series of posts that I am crafting for Brandt’s class.
The sports agency business is dominated by a few large companies that have an excessive amount of resources to spend on a variety of items, including the salaries of some of the most notable sports agents. One such sports agency has been Lagarde?re Unlimited, which came into being back in 2010 when it purchased Blue Entertainment Sports Television (BEST) from Jonathan Blue’s Blue Equity, LLC. Interestingly, BEST had been organized based on acquisitions of prior prominent independent agents as well as agencies. It’s a far too familiar story of one purchase leading to another in the world of sports agency.
Now, after five years of operating as Lagarde?re Unlimited, it is going through a re-branding process. The division is going to be renamed Lagarde?re Sports and Entertainment, which includes many of the acquisitions made by the division since its formation in 2010. The Lagarde?re Sports brand will include Sportfive, World Sport Group, IEC in Sports, Sports Marketing and Management and Lagarde?re Unlimited Inc.
“To consolidate our ambitions, we set out on a series of strategic acquisitions. As our integration continues, the launch of our unified brand is a logical and necessary outcome. The Group is transforming and the recent reorganization has already yielded positive results. We’re combining our forces to be stronger, more agile and to capitalize on growing opportunities in the sports and entertainment business,” said CEO Arnaud Lagarde?re.
In actuality, the reorganization does not mean much; it will be business as usual at Lagarde?re. However, it also makes sense. Lagarde?re Unlimited was organized to primarily represent professional athletes with their professional contracts and some endorsement arrangements. It has developed into a platform that includes events, properties, etc. Thus, “unlimited” may still be an apropos description, but it was time to transition to a new structure, for public relations purposes at a minimum.
If you’re interested in learning more about Villanova’s online sports program, please visit VillanovaU.com/SABSponsor.