Inside Move: CAA gets into sports game

IMG union could help duo create athletic fare

Creative Artists Agency is forming a strategic alliance with the world’s oldest and largest sports management company, Intl. Management Group. While details are still emerging, the pact would create a pool of talent into which both sides could dip.

Besides handling the business affairs of many top athletes, IMG secures marketing and endorsement contracts for its clients and promotes key sports events such Wimbledon.

IMG also has represented institutional clients such as the Vatican, the Alfred Nobel Foundation and Oxford University and non-sports clients like Elizabeth Hurley and Liv Tyler.

The thinking behind the deal is to put two market leaders together and see what happens in a variety of overlapping areas.

While CAA reps many top players in TV, film and music, such an alliance could help the tenpercentery to commission, and IMG to create, sports-themed content — whether for reality TV, drama series or motion pictures, observed Leigh Steinberg, a sports agent of 28 years.

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“The sports business is shifting from individual representation to a mad rush to see who can be the first to supply content,” Steinberg said. “IMG has a massive list, but what’s more interesting is the opportunity to own equity in a show, motion picture or event.”

IMG also produces live TV events, precluding CAA taking an equity stake in the company.

IMG’s founder Mark McCormack died May 16 and was replaced by co-CEOs Bob Kain and Alastair Johnston.