The Los Angeles LGBT Center will recognize WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to the Obama administration, at the 48th anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards. The event will take place on Sept. 23 at the Beverly Hilton.The honorees will be recognized for their service towards the LGBT community and dedication to creating positive change. More than 1,200 leaders from civic, corporate, entertainment, and philanthropic communities will attend the celebration.Emanuel and co-CEO Patrick Whitesell are committed to promoting...
It’s rare for an agent to inspire a fictional character on a primetime TV show. But when you are as memorably rambunctious as Ari Emanuel, “Entourage” comes along to immortalize him with Ari Gold (played by Jeremy Piven). The reality is Emanuel is as hard-driving and successful as his HBO alter ego.
He began his career as a trainee at CAA before moving over to InterTalent and finally ICM as a senior agent. He made headlines in the mid-90s, when he decided to leave ICM to create his own agency with fellow agents Rick Rosen, Tom Strickler, and David Greenblatt. Endeavor was created in 1995; by 2001 Emanuel was instrumental in bringing over Hollywood superagent Patrick Whitesell (who would eventually become his co-CEO). Emanuel continued to rep some of Hollywood’s biggest stars such as Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Martin Scorsese.
In 2009, he made his first of major power plays to evolve the agency into a larger player in the industry by merging with William Morris. Following the merger, he brought in Silver Lake, a technology-focused private equity firm, which would sign an agreement to acquire a 31% minority stake in the agency. Emanuel followed that up by merging with sports and fashion agency IMG in 2015.
All of these moves set up the agency to make major acquisitions in the years to come, including UFC, Professional Bull Riders and Global eSports Management. Emanuel’s game plan is nothing less than reimagining the role of the traditional agency to beyond traditional representation to actually finance the content and reap the rewards of owning the intellectual property. His effort was helped along by a $1.1 billion infusion WME-IMG scored in August 2017.