Headline Sports Business

$200 Million Investment In Creative Artists Agency?

We all know about Lagardere’s recent purchase of Blue Entertainment Sports Television from the hands of private investment firm, Blue Equity.  Interestingly, BEST was not the only company looking for an infusion of cash and a potential exit from the world of representation, event management, and sports/entertainment marketing.  Juggernaut, Creative Artists Agency may also be shopping for some dough, and the word is that one company in particular (KKR – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co) might drop $200 million to get a stake in CAA.

It is noted that operating a sports agency the likes of what CAA maintains along with paying its heavyweight agents costs a lot of money, but the investment is supposedly about an exit strategy for CAA’s current owners.

Lourd has always said he wanted to move to NYC as soon as his daughter with Carrie Fisher turns age 18, which she does this year, and to leave the agency biz for the corporate world. Huvane has always talked about wanting to put his own life before his clients’ in the not-so-distant future, and the ever-partying agent thinks that time is near. O’Connor has been complaining about how tired he is of the agency business and its constant demands. Lovett, whom many have thought might be a lifer in the tenpercent biz, has pressing financial needs because of his still-not-final divorce and is blamed by his partners for over-spending and thus over-extending CAA’s financial resources. (Expanding into the sports biz was his idea because he hero-worshipped IMG founder Mark McCormack.)

Not too long ago, I reported that big time CAA baseball agent, Casey Close, might be leaving CAA at the end of his current contract with the company in order to start his own practice or work alongside NBA agent, David Falk.  If the major owners end up leaving the company, how will it affect the rest of the CAA landscape?  Will there be a vacuum for power?  Will Casey Close leave?  May other big name agents leave?

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.