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Sports & Entertainment?

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.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Sports & Entertainment?”

Hey Darren,

I enjoyed the article. I’m currently a Sports and Event Management major and I do agree that these two go hand in hand with each. Agencies that have diverse departments such as events, marketing, and sports will only help it become bigger. While I have been in school, I have been trying to network to hopefully become a major player in this industry. Look forward to your articles.

Garen Koutoujian

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