Azoff MSG Entertainment Acquires 50 Percent of Celebrity Marketing Agency Burns Entertainment

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The company expands its reach by partnering with a firm that specializes in matching brands and celebrities.

Azoff MSG Entertainment, the joint venture between Azoff Music Management and the Madison Square Garden Company, has acquired a 50 percent stake in top celebrity and music procurement firm Burns Entertainment. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For over 44 years, Burns Entertainment has represented many of the biggest consumer brands, working to match them with celebrities and licensing music for advertising campaigns and promotions. Burns has worked globally on behalf of companies including Unilever, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Beam Global, Audi, Sprint and hundreds of others. 

“We are thrilled to have Burns as part of the AMSGE family,” said Irving Azoff, CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment. “Bob Williams, Doug Shabelman and Marc Ippolito have built a globally recognized business and we are looking forward to helping take it to new heights.”

The partnership, dubbed Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing LLC, offers the ideal opportunity for Burns to showcase their services to many more corporations that need assistance in identifying and contracting celebrity talent and music with expert management and advice. 

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Said CEO Bob Williams: “We think the match with Azoff MSG Entertainment is the perfect partnership as we look to expand our business to the next level. We always say that celebrities are not the only ones who need an agent’s help -- the companies seeking their endorsement need an expert to guide them in paying the right price, making the right choice and contracting properly for their campaigns. We are excited that Irving Azoff and his team will be a tremendous partner in exploring high-level relationships that complement our existing clientele and expertise.”

Burns Entertainment was founded in 1970 by the since-retired David Burns as a resource to ad agencies and companies seeking assistance in hiring celebrity talent and licensing music. Former PR executive Williams bought the company in 1993 and brought in partner/entertainment attorney Shabelman in 1996, followed by Ippolito in 1997.

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Burns Entertainment has branched out across the globe with partners in China, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Latin America, Turkey, Russia and other European markets.

AMSGE was created in Sept. 2013 with four integrated units -- Azoff Music Management; Global Music Rights; Television/Live Event Production and Experiential Marketing/Branding; and Digital Brand Architects (DBA).   Recently, AMSGE acquired a 50 percent stake in Pop2Life (P2L), an experiential marketing and music agency that specializes in branded entertainment, social experiences and unique promotions.