You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Relativity Sports Reborn as Independent Sports and Entertainment

The sports agency that was once piece of the Relativity Media empire claimed rebirth and a new name Monday as it tried to set itself apart from its previously bankrupt parent.

Relativity Sports will henceforward be known as Independent Sports and Entertainment (ISE), which described itself in an announcement as “an integrated sports, media, entertainment and management company.”

The old Relativity Media holds only a small minority stake in the agency, sources said, with supermarket magnate Ron Burkle now becoming the major investor and former Madison Square Garden Co. executive Hank Ratner becoming the president and chief executive officer.

The announcement was timed to the closing of an investment from Burkle. The Los Angeles investor’s company had said last year he would put $30 million into the sports agency. His actual investment could not be confirmed.

Although some employees fled after parent Relativity Media filed for bankruptcy last July, ISE claimed it has retained a bulk of agents and clients from Relativity Sports, with the new agency’s sports business to be headed by Mark Pieper and Fernando Cuza (ISE Baseball), Dan Fegan (ISE Basketball) and Roosevelt Barnes and Doug Hendrickson (ISE Football). The agency said it has more than 300 major league athletes under contract.

The move to separate from the parent company echoes the departure earlier this year of Relativity TV, which broke away after being purchased by senior debt holders of Relativity Media for $125 million. In January, the rechristened Critical Content launched, under the leadership of Tom Forman and Andrew Marcus. The television operation, which focused on reality programming, was viewed by analysts and the markets as being the strongest unit of Relativity Media, which included a film studio, sports agency, fashion agency and branding operation.

The new Independent Sports and Entertainment has ambitions to grow beyond its core sports function to “secure marketing, business and endorsement opportunities across the film, television, fashion, live event, retail and hospitality industries,” the announcement said.

More Biz

  • Bob Iger arrives at the Oscars,

    Bob Iger: 'Challenging Work of Uniting Our Businesses' Lies Ahead for Disney

    Bob Iger marked the historic occasion of Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox with a lengthy memo to staffers that was candid about the challenges of the massive integration of people and cultures that lies ahead for the media giant. “I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us, that closing [...]


    'Traitors' Producer 42 Hires Literary Manager Eugenie Furniss

    Eugenie Furniss is joining London- and Los Angeles-based management and production company 42 as literary manager, it was announced Wednesday. The company’s slate include movie “Ironbark,” a Cold War thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and TV series “Traitors,” a spy thriller coming to Netflix in the U.S. at the end of the month. Furniss joins 42 [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Fox Corp. Pays Disney Sale Dividend, Sets May 9 Investor Meeting

    Fox Corp. has handed over an $8.5 billion check to help Disney offset tax costs related to the 21st Century Fox acquisition. As spelled out in the Disney-21st Century Fox merger agreement, the Murdoch clan’s newly established Fox Corp. was on the hook to pay a special dividend to 21st Century Fox on the latter’s [...]

  • Kevin Tsujihara

    Kevin Tsujihara's Ouster Kicks Off a Week of Major Disruption in the Media Business

    The sudden ouster of Warner Bros. Entertainment chief Kevin Tsujihara kicked off what is likely to go down as one of the most extraordinary weeks in Hollywood history, spelling enormous turmoil and transition across the media landscape. In addition to the news about Tsujihara, which comes amid a wider shake-up of leadership at AT&T’s WarnerMedia, [...]

  • Disney Fox mega deal acquisition Illustration

    Disney Closes $71 Billion 21st Century Fox Deal

    After 15 months of wrangling and planning, Disney has formally sealed the deal on its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox. “This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us — one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger said in a statement on Tuesday [...]

  • Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content

    Beleaguered Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content for Expansion Into Southeast Asia

    One of the most surprising first-time attendees at FilMart is Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has come to Hong Kong to acquire the video content it needs to support its strategy of expansion into Southeast Asia. The company is currently embroiled in a PR nightmare as it defends itself against accusations that its equipment could [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content