Casey Wasserman: Why I Want an NFL Franchise in L.A.
"This is one of the last unique things to do in the business of sports," the head of Wasserman Media Group tells The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Not unlike his late grandfather, the famed Hollywood mogul and MCA chairman Lew Wasserman, 36-year-old Casey Wasserman has outsize ambition. In less than 10 years, his Westwood-based Wasserman Media Group has become one of the world's largest sports-business companies, with a representation arm that boasts a client list of more than 900 athletes, including Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol, Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Chase Utley and Landon Donovan, star of last year's U.S. World Cup soccer team. The firm's practices also include corporate consulting for the likes of American Express, T-Mobile and UPS, along with media rights, business development and other concerns. Wasserman has been in the news recently for his effort to bring an NFL team to Los Angeles after an absence of more than 15 years. The married father of two -- whose wife, Laura, is the daughter of showbiz superlawyer Ken Ziffren -- is working with L.A. Live and Staples Center developer AEG on a proposed $1 billion stadium for downtown L.A., a plan that needs city approval and likely would require the uprooting of an existing NFL team. Wasserman sat down recently with The Hollywood Reporter at his Richard Meier-designed offices -- which are filled with modern art and offer panoramic views of his alma mater, UCLA -- to discuss his NFL ambitions, the changing landscape of sports broadcasting and lessons learned from his grandfather, whose teachings Wasserman says are part of his daily lexicon.
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