CAA Buys Fermata Partners, Bulking Up in the Sports World

A year and a half after WME’s blockbuster purchase of sports-centric IMG Worldwide, the agency’s biggest rival, CAA, continues to move to beef up its own foothold in the sports world.

That trend continued in the last week with CAA’s acquisition of Fermata Partners, an Atlanta-based sports licensing agency that has been battling WME/IMG for deals with college sports powerhouses.

An acquisition of undisclosed terms makes Fermata into a CAA subsidiary. In less than three years since its formation, Fermata has signed licensing deals with four major universities – Kentucky, Miami, Oregon and, starting July 1, Georgia.

Fermata is just one of several firms emerging as a player in the college sports space, which has become increasingly competitive, particularly as some universities and conferences attempt to cut out the middle men and do their own licensing and media rights deals.

Fermata also represents multiple Premier League soccer teams, including Liverpool F.C. and Tottenham Hotspur. The firm recently announced deals with the Churchill Downs racetrack and the premiere event held there each May, the Kentucky Derby.

CAA Sports co-head Michael Levine lauded Fermata’s “world-class” capabilities and the market share the firm has achieved in less than three years.

Fermata managing director Derek Eiler said in a statement that the company’s quick success had given it many growth options, but it went with CAA “to align with a strategic, globally connected, and well-capitalized partner, while preserving our focus on serving premier brands seeking unparalleled expertise on their consumer products businesses.”

Eiler and three other founding partners — Scott Bouyack, Chris Prindiville and Kit Walsh — signed long-term employment deals to remain with the company, which will remain based in Atlanta.

More Biz

  • Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs

    Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs Talk European Expansion

    If there’s a perfect example of Amazon Studios’ strategy with its local-language international TV content, Japan’s “Documental” would be it. The series revolves around 10 comedians who battle to make one another laugh in an elimination-style competition. James Farrell, Amazon Studios’ head of international originals, said it was a good example of an unconventional idea [...]


    Netflix and Ava DuVernay Sued by Police Interrogation Firm

    The company behind a controversial police interrogation technique filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against Netflix and director Ava DuVernay, claiming that it was defamed in DuVernay’s miniseries on the Central Park jogger case. John E. Reid and Associates developed the Reid Technique in the late 1940s, and it has continued to offer training materials [...]

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger'Terminator: Dark Fate' film panel,

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Trades CAA for UTA

    Arnold Schwarzenegger has departed his former agency CAA and signed with UTA, which will represent the global superstar and two-time Governor of California in all areas. Schwarzenegger, whose films have grossed more than $4.7 billion worldwide, is set to reprise his celebrated role in the “Terminator” franchise, starring in “Terminator: Dark Fate.” He will also [...]

  • Patrick Moran

    Former ABC Studios Head Patrick Moran Signs Amazon Overall Deal

    Patrick Moran has signed an overall deal with Amazon, Variety has learned. The news comes around three months after it was announced that Moran would be exiting his role as president of ABC Studios following restructuring in the wake of the Disney-21st Century Fox merger. Under his new deal, Moran will work with Amazon Studios to [...]

  • Pamela Adlon

    Pamela Adlon Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Multi-hyphenate Pamela Adlon has signed with CAA for representation, Variety has learned exclusively. Due to the ongoing dispute between the Writers Guild and the talent agencies, however, CAA will not be representing Adlon for writing. In addition to writing, Adlon is an actress, producer, and director. She continues to be repped by Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Talent Agent Joseph Eric Rice Dies at 61

    Joseph Eric Rice, a talent agent who headed JR Talent Group, died unexpectedly at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 61. Rice headed his own talent agency based in Studio City where he primary handled actors. Earlier in his career, he headed the theatrical department at Abrams Artists Agency. Rice was born in [...]

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content