WME-IMG Renames Parent Company as Endeavor

Endeavor Logo - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Endeavor

Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell are taking on new titles as CEO and executive chairman, respectively.

WME-IMG has formed a new holding company under the name Endeavor, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The moniker is, of course, a callback to Endeavor Talent Agency, the firm co-founded by Ari Emanuel. In 2009, Emanuel and Endeavor executive Patrick Whitesell orchestrated the merger with the William Morris Agency to create WME.

With the new name, WME-IMG co-CEOs Emanuel and Whitesell become Endeavor CEO and Endeavor executive chairman, respectively. Both will continue to sit on the board of the company.

“WME-IMG represented a pivotal moment in our company’s history, but it does not accurately reflect the extent of our diversity or indicate where we’re headed,” Emanuel said in a statement. “In creating Endeavor, we now have a holding company that represents the very definition of the word itself, constantly striving to push boundaries on behalf of our clients and owned properties.”

Since private equity firm Silver Lake’s initial outside investment in 2012, the company has taken on additional backing from CPPIB, Fidelity, Focus Media, FountainVest, GIC, Mubadala, Sequoia Capital, SoftBank and Tencent, and boosted its portfolio with a considerable number of acquisitions, all of which remain intact and will now be considered Endeavor companies:

·    WME, the talent agency
·    IMG, the sports, fashion and entertainment agency
·    UFC, the mixed martial arts organization
·    Droga5, the ad agency
·    Professional Bull Riders, the professional bull riders organization
·    The Miss Universe Organization, the pageant company
·    Frieze, the fine arts and media company
·    Dixon Talent, which manages the careers of late-night luminaries and other hosts
·    The Wall Group, which represents stylists and designers
·    Euroleague Basketball, a joint venture between IMG and the European hoops company
·    ELEAGUE, an eSports joint venture with Turner
·    the Chinese subsidiary formed with the investments from Sequoia Capital, Tencent and FountainVest

“Our business at its core remains rooted in access, service and creativity,” Whitesell said in a statement. “The one substantial difference is that unlike 20 years ago, we’re now sitting at the center of an incredible global network. We have the relationships and the platforms to help our clients and partners extend their reach and bring their creative initiatives to life.”