UTA buys into sports agency Klutch
United Talent Agency (UTA) has created a dedicated sporting division, UTA Sports, after making a significant investment in Klutch Sports Group, which represents basketball stars including LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Draymond Green.
Cleveland, Ohio-based Klutch is led by founder Rich Paul, a National Basketball Association (NBA) agent and friend of James. The agency also has an office in UTA’s home city, Los Angeles.
“We started Klutch because we believed there was a different way to represent players,” Paul comments. “We understood the world was changing and how athletes required an entirely new perspective from their agents. When I met with Jeremy [Zimmer, UTA CEO] and the UTA team, it was clear to me they were the perfect partner for Klutch’s next phase of growth. They understand and share our view on the future of sports and recognise how there is an entirely new way to represent elite athletes.
“The innovation, resources and talent at UTA [are] going to supercharge everything we can do.”
According to Variety, Paul, who established Klutch Sports in 2012, will also serve as head of UTA Sports.
“Rich has built Klutch with the vision, values and entrepreneurial spirit that UTA cherishes”
The acquisition of a stake in Klutch bolster’s UTA’s existing sports business, which includes representation of several NBA, NFL (National [American] Football League) and Olympic athletes.
“Rich has built Klutch with the vision, values and entrepreneurial spirit that UTA cherishes,” says Zimmer. “By focusing on growing clients’ businesses and putting their interests first, Klutch is built for the modern athlete who wants to thrive at the intersection of sports, media, music, art and culture.
“We are thrilled to work with Rich and his team to build Klutch and UTA Sports into a global powerhouse.”
The news follows an aborted takeover by UTA of music powerhouse Paradigm Talent Agency, after Paradigm founder Sam Gores elected to remain independent. Through Coda, Paradigm has its own UK sports agency, Coda Independent Sports.
Among UTA’s Hollywood rivals, meanwhile, CAA has interests in several sports-focused companies, including Elevate Sports Ventures and China’s Momentum Sports, and WME’s parent company, Endeavor, includes sports agency giant IMG.
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