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Relativity Media, Ron Burkle Launch Sports Division

Ron Burkle Headshot - P 2012
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Ron Burkle

The agency will rep athletes, coaches and broadcasters, combining the operations of three existing companies.

Relativity Media has joined with Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies to launch Relativity Sports to represent athletes, coaches and broadcasters including Amar’e Stoudemire, Mariano Rivera, Justin Verlander, David Ortiz, Justin Morneau and Alfonso Soriano.

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The newly formed agency is absorbing the existing businesses of SFX Baseball, Maximum Sports Management (football) and Rogue Sports (basketball).

“Relativity Sports serves as a perfect launching pad for us to continue to grow our entertainment business,” Relativity CEO said Ryan Kavanaugh said in a statement. "This alliance offers athletes turnkey access to a true merger of sports and entertainment. In addition to their careers in professional sports, we can offer athletes opportunities in film, television, music and gaming.”

Said Burkle, managing partner of The Yucaipa Companies, “This partnership marks a new evolution in sports agencies, and we couldn’t be more pleased to help open new platforms to the world’s best athletes.”

According to Happy Walters, co-COO of Relativity Media, who will oversee the new entity, “Relativity Sports will utilize its marketing relationships with global brands and studio assets to offer athletes unique access not available at other agencies.”

Other players who will be represented by the company include Miguel Cabrera, Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, Ndamukong Suh, Devin Hester and Steven Jackson.

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Relativity, which has expanded into a full-service theatrical distributor and also has a strong presence in reality television, laid the groundwork for the new sports division in 2012 when it merged its Rogue Sports division with Maximum Sports Management and SFX Baseball. Maximum was started 20 years ago by Eugene Parker and Roosevelt Barnes.

Burkle and his Yucaipa Companies began a relationship last year with Relativity and earlier this year became major investors in the company by buying out most of the equity held by a previous investor.