Back to the future as WME-IMG becomes Endeavor
WME-IMG, the combined Hollywood talent agency and international sports and entertainment company, has created a new holding company, Endeavor, recalling the name of the Endeavor Talent Agency, which took over the much larger William Morris Agency in 2009 to form WME, before merging with IMG in 2013.
The new holding company will take on the full portfolio of owned and operated brands which were formerly under the WME-IMG banner.
Ari Emanuel (pictured) and Patrick Whitesell, joint chief executives of WME-IMG, become chief executive and executive chairman, respectively, of the new Endeavor.
Endeavor said: “Beginning with Silver Lake’s initial investment in WME in 2012, Endeavor has attracted strategic partners including CPPIB, Fidelity, Focus Media, FountainVest, GIC, Mubadala, Sequoia Capital, SoftBank and Tencent, gaining recognition as one of Fortune’s 25 Most Important Private Companies.”
The Endeavor family includes: “WME, a leading global entertainment agency representing a powerful client roster across motion picture, television, sports, music, books, digital and theater; IMG, a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion; UFC, the world’s premier professional mixed martial arts (MMA) organization; Droga5, Cannes Lions Independent Agency of the Year; Professional Bull Riders; The Miss Universe Organization; and Frieze, a leading arts and media company.
“Endeavor also encompasses a range of premium properties and agencies, including comedic management house Dixon Talent and artist management and consulting agency The Wall Group. Additionally, the Endeavor family includes a number of strategic joint ventures, among them Euroleague Basketball and ELEAGUE, an eSports league created in conjunction with Turner, as well as a subsidiary in China focused on advancing the company’s growth in the country.”
Emanuel said: “WME | IMG represented a pivotal moment in our company’s history, but it does not accurately reflect the extent of our diversity or indicate where we’re headed. In creating Endeavor, we now have a holding company that represents the very definition of the word itself, constantly striving to push boundaries on behalf of our clients and owned properties.”
Whitesell added: “Our business at its core remains rooted in access, service and creativity. The one substantial difference is that unlike 20 years ago, we’re now sitting at the center of an incredible global network. We have the relationships and the platforms to help our clients and partners extend their reach and bring their creative initiatives to life.”
In August, WME-IMG benefited from a $1.1-billion injection led by investors in Canada and Singapore.
The new funding round valued WME-IMG at $6.3 billion, up from $5.5 billion last year.