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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Wasserman Makes First Investment in Rugby

  • Wasserman has acquired Esportif, a rugby-focused talent agency.
  • With the acquisition, Wasserman will create its first division dedicated solely to rugby.
Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

Wasserman, one of the largest sports and entertainment agencies in the world, is establishing a presence in a sport with more than 500 million fans. 

Wasserman has acquired Esportif, a rugby-focused talent agency with a global reach across all of the sport’s key territories. 

With the acquisition, Wasserman will create its first division dedicated solely to rugby

  • Esportif has offices in 13 different territories across the world.
  • A team of more than 40 Esportif executives and agents will join Wasserman immediately. 

Wasserman tapping into rugby is the latest evidence of growing interest in the sport among American companies and decision-makers. The World Rugby Council voted last month to give the U.S. bids for the Men’s Rugby World Cup in 2031 and the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2033.

The sale of a 5.7% stake in New Zealand Rugby’s commercial rights to California-based private equity firm Silver Lake for $130.6 million is also up against a critical vote to gain approval.

Approval of the sale could value NZR CommercialCo at more than $2 billion.

Growing Business

Wasserman, founded by Casey Wasserman in 1998, has made recent efforts to expand its reach in the sports and entertainment industries. In January, the company agreed to acquire The Montag Group, a talent agency with clients that include Jim Nantz, Mike Tirico, and other high-profile sports broadcasters.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it will require The Montag Group to end its partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.

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