VaynerX Acquires Playbook Inc.
It was announced that media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk and his business partners in VaynerX have acquired Reed Bergman’s Playbook Inc. to create a new company, VaynerTalent. The new venture is made up of the existing division of VaynerMedia, VaynerTalent and Playbook, all under the VaynerX umbrella.
Reed Bergman, a sports industry veteran with over 25 years experience, has developed valuable relationships, generated revenue for world-class athletes, franchises and brands including Mercedes Benz, Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola. Prior to Bergman founding Playbook, he was a partner with baseball super agent Scott Boras, marketing their clients both on and off the field.
Playbook represents personalities such as Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen and Jesse Palmer. Social media guru and entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk, decided to roll Playbook into VaynerTalent, a separate entity of VaynerMedia, that includes clients such as former General Electric Vice Chair, Beth Comstock and Quest Nutrition founder, Tom Bilyeu.
“It’s an evolution for me, from a sports centric business to one that incorporates sports with other opportunities”, Bergman said.
Bergman’s interests have shifted from sports to hopes of representing the careers of actors, actresses and entrepreneurs. Bergman says, “as long as they have large social followings they want to monetize – that’s all of them. No one on the buy side cares about Q scores anymore, they want to know the size of your social media community.”
Vaynerchuk’s entrepreneurial spirit seemingly knows no bounds. In 2016, he and his younger brother, AJ, started a sports agency, VaynerSports, with two other partners and NFL agents Brian McLaughlin and Mook Williams. The agency represents around 25 NFL players including Josh Jackson, Matt Paradis, Derrick Morgan, Josh Matin, Isaac Yiadom, Michael Badgley, Geronimo Allison and Robert Nkemdiche. Although VaynerSports doesn’t represent any household names yet, Gary and AJ know how to utilize social media to monetize for their clients. “When we have a fifth-round offensive lineman making more money in brand deals than an eighth-year All-Pro, it gets their locker room talking”, says Garyvee.
While the entrepreneurial nature of Vaynerchuk extends to various industries, with VaynerSports and VaynerX companies, it is important to note that VaynerSports and the VaynerX companies are separate entities.
The newly formed VaynerTalent includes a veteran leadership team, lead by President and Managing Partner Reed Bergman. Additionally, Lindsay Blum serves as a Partner and Andrew Sirk is the Executive Vice President.