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WME has unveiled a deal to acquire the remaining stake in BDA Sports Management that it does not already own in the sports representation firm, and plans to make agent Bill Duffy head of the basketball division at WME Sports.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Beverly Hills-based agency earlier bought a minority stake in the Black-owned sports agency that Duffy founded more than 30 years ago, and as chairman and CEO advised WME Sports’ basketball representation practice before cementing ties.
BDA agents, staff and clients will operate under WME Sports once the deal closes as scheduled on April 1.
“It is hard to name a basketball agent more respected across the league than Bill. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have him and his team fully join WME Sports as we continue this chapter of tremendous growth,” said WME Sports co-heads Karen Brodkin and Josh Pyatt in a statement.
Over his career, Duffy has represented 30 NBA Draft lottery picks, 44 NBA All-Star selections, and 15 NBA Champions. He and his team currently represent over 40 NBA players, including Luka Dončić, Scottie Barnes, Chet Holmgren, and RJ Barrett from the New York Knicks.
“I feel as motivated as ever for this next chapter of my career leading WME Sports’ basketball division. BDA and WME Sports have worked seamlessly together the last two years and I’m eager to formalize this partnership and continue providing the best services and support to our clients throughout their careers,” Duffy added in his own statement.
He will continue to work with WME Sports head of basketball marketing and off-court strategy, Carlos Fleming, and with the co-heads of WME Sports Brodkin and Pyatt, as well as Joe Branch, who joined WME Sports last year as head of basketball strategy and business development.
Last year, WME Sports, through its partnerships with BDA and Innovate, netted the most lottery picks of any talent agency at the NBA Draft. As part of this transaction, WME Sports and Duffy will continue to have a commercial relationship with BDA International for international recruiting.
WME has helped build businesses for sports icons like Serena Williams, Michael Strahan, LeBron James, Naomi Osaka and Kobe Bryant beyond their fields of play with brand deals and equity stakes. As Hollywood talent agencies push beyond representation in traditional film and TV, WME is expanding efforts to boost its presence in sports, fashion, gaming and other entertainment forums.
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