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WME-IMG appoints NBA exec to head up China office

Michael Ma, who played a key role in developing the NBA's presence in China, will lead William Morris Endeavor's new Chinese division

By IQ on 28 Oct 2016

Beijing, Sam Gao

William Morris Endeavor (WME) has hired Michael Ma, formerly vice-president of the National Basketball Association (NBA), to head its new WME-IMG China subsidiary.

WME-IMG China was formed with private-equity backing in June to facilitate the booking agency group’s “new forays into Chinese sports and entertainment”.

Ma had most recently served NBA’s special assistant to the CEO in Beijing (pictured), where he will be based for his new role.

“Michael brings not only a deep knowledge of the Chinese market, but also incredible experience in cultivating brands within China through his work with the NBA”

“Michael brings not only a deep knowledge of the Chinese market, but also incredible experience in cultivating brands within China through his work with the NBA,” say WME-IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell in a joint statement. “We’re looking forward to working alongside Michael to expand our current business in China while creating new opportunities for our clients and partners in one of our fastest growing markets.”

WME-IMG was formed in late 2013 after music and media agency William Morris Endeavor and its corporate parent, Silver Lake Partners, bought sports agency International Management Group (IMG) for US$2.3 billion.

 


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