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WME Sports has hired Jim Murray, Michael Stival and Billy Eppler to lead its baseball representation business as partners.
Murray and Stival join WME Sports from Excel Sports Management, while Eppler, most recently general manager of the Los Angeles Angels, will step round to the other side of the bargaining table.
Hiring the troika underlines WME’s strategy to become more competitive in its Major League Baseball representation division, which includes brokering on- and off-field deals and exploiting ancillary opportunities for athletes like licensing and endorsement deals.
“Jim, Michael and Billy’s unrivaled experience combined with a shared mission to revolutionize the way baseball players are represented make them the perfect trio to lead our efforts in this space. Their complementary expertise will fast-track our goal to move to the forefront of baseball representation,” Jordan Bazant, co-head of WME Sports, said in a statement on Monday.
There’s no word on which clients may move with Murray and Stival from Excel Sports Management to be represented by WME. Murray helped grow the baseball practice at Excel Sports Management from 25 clients to more than 150 clients over the last nine years.
Before joining Excel, Murray served as a partner with Hendricks Sports Management and started his career at SFX Sports Group. Stival at Excel Sports Management was focused on developing, directing and executing the contract negotiation strategy for baseball clients.
Before Excel, he spent seven years at the Major League Baseball Players Association, including as assistant general counsel. And while with the Los Angeles Angels, Eppler oversaw over 200 employees and advised ownership on trades, contract signings and Major League transactions.
“The business of baseball has transformed over the last two decades, and our combined expertise, backed by the unmatched reach and resources of WME, uniquely position us to best serve the changing needs of players,” said Murray, Stival and Eppler in their own joint statement.
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