A unit of SFX Entertainment, the SFX Sports Group, has boosted its stake in the athlete representation business with the acquisition of Speakers of Sport, a baseball talent representation agency.
Founded in 1976 by Jim Bronner and Bob Gilhooley, Speakers of Sport's roster includes two-time American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) Juan Gonzalez, 1999 Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez, 1999 World Series MVP Mariano Rivera and 1997 National League MVP Larry Walker. Some of the other clients who will now reside under the wide SFX umbrella are All-Stars Moises Alou, Andres Galarraga, Vladimir Guerrero, Ramon Martinez, Jamie Moyer, Charles Nagy and Jim Thome.
Speakers of Sport is based in Chicago. From the company's Sarasota office, Fernando Cuza runs Latin American operations.
In a prepared statement, SFX indicated the acquisition helped the corporation "build a talent management and marketing business of unmatched leadership and geographic reach. "
SFX has additional senior talent representatives including Alan and Randy Hendricks in Houston, Arn Tellem in Los Angeles, David Falk and Ivan Blumberg in Washington DC, and others in New York, Miami, London and Australia. SFX Sports Group President and COO Bill Allard and Speakers of Sport's Jim Bronner both issued statements lauding the new merger/ acquisition.
For his part, Speakers of Sport's Bob Gilhooley's statement signalled that the new partnership would follow the model of other acquisitions by SFX, whereby the original owners or executives of a given company remain in place but avail themselves of the parent company's extensive reach.
As reported earlier, SFX Sports Group is a division of SFX Entertainment. SFX said its Sports Group includes "many of the world's leading sports marketing and management agencies, specializing in the representation of athletes, integrated event management, television programming and production, and marketing services in the sports, news and entertainment industries."
Now in the midst of a prolonged acquisition program, SFX Entertainment develops and manages touring Broadway shows, and sells Broadway subscription series and individual productions in 55 markets. An integrated franchise that promotes and produces a broad variety of live entertainment events locally, regionally and nationally, SFX has 120 venues overall, and owns or operates venues in 31 of the top 50 domestic markets.
-- By Murdoch McBride