Rich Paul, the CEO and founder of Klutch Sports Group and long-time agent of LeBron James, has been appointed to United Talent Agency’s board of directors.
Paul has headed UTA’s sports division and has been a UTA partner since the firm bought a “significant” stake in Klutch in July 2019.
The 38-year-old Paul founded Klutch in 2012 and has long served as an agent to James. At the time of the UTA investment, Paul had negotiated nearly $1 billion in contracts for a number of the NBA’s top athletes, which include Anthony Davis and Draymond Green.
“Our association with Rich Paul has been a true bright spot since he partnered with us a year ago,” UTA CEO and Board member Jeremy Zimmer said in a release. “We were determined to come together and build a cutting edge, full-service representation arm for athletes, and are well on our way. Adding Rich to the Board gives us additional perspective and support as we strive to be the best company for all our colleagues and clients. Rich has a keen and unblinking eye for the truth of how we all win together.”
Since joining forces with UTA, Klutch has expanded into professional football and baseball with acquisitions of Revolution Sports Agency and Tidal Sports Group, giving it significant weight in the NFL and MLB landscape.
In June, agent Omar Wilkes joined Klutch as the head of its basketball operations after eight years at Octagon.
As his visibility as an agent has risen, Paul has launched opportunities for underprivileged communities. During the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago, he launched “Klutch Conversations,” which focuses on youth empowerment through arts, education, sports and civic engagement.
Paul – who first connected with a high school-aged James as a 21-year-old through his throwback jersey business – was also the impetus behind reversing the rule which would have banned agents without a college degree from representing NCAA student-athletes, which has been colloquially dubbed the “Rich Paul Rule.”
“These are opportunities not often presented to Black men and women, so it comes with added responsibility to use my position not just to help drive a global business forward but to create more chances for people who look like me and face the same challenges I did,” Paul said in a statement. “My motivation is to help ensure all young people of color live up to their potential and succeed in the face of the systemic inequality that remains as real today as ever. I look forward to working with my UTA colleagues at all levels as a board member.”
Paul joins Zimmer, Co-Presidents David Kramer and Jay Sures, Chairman Jim Berkus, co-founder Peter Benedek, COO Andrew Thau, and senior agents Tracey Jacobs, Blair Kohan and Matt Rice on UTA’s board.