ICM Partners is diving into the sports representation business with the acquisition of London-based sports agency Stellar Group, Sportico‘s sister site Variety reports.
Stellar Group represents more than 800 athletes, including Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish. Most of Stellar’s clients are soccer players, with some NFL players as well. The agency has about 130 employees spread among offices in the U.K. as well as Boston and Atlanta, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Denmark and other countries.
The deal will create ICM Stellar Sports, which will be run by executive chairman Jonathan Barnett and David Manasseh, who co-founded Stellar in 1992. ICM Partners veteran Ted Chervin will serve as chairman of the sports agency with a mandate to help grow its sports roster in North America and to drive business for new and existing ICM clients thanks to new-found heft in the sports world.
The entertainment business landscape has recently seen a wave of NBA and NFL players set up content production pacts with major studios, capitalizing on their own social media-enhanced brands. But the expansion into sports has been an expensive gamble for CAA and WME during the past two decades. ICM is banking on a revved up content marketplace that has made factories out of personalities such as the NBA’s Steph Curry and LeBron James.