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Coda launches Independent Sports agency

Leading UK booking outfit Coda Agency today took the wraps off its new sports agency, Coda Independent Sports.

A joint venture with Independent Talent Group (with which Coda formed a strategic partnership last year) and Paul and Barney Crockford of Crockford Management, Coda Independent Sports aims to become “one of the top global sports agencies”, according to Coda.

Initially focusing on football, Coda Independent Sports – incorporated on 12 January 2018, but officially launched today (11 December) – already counts among its clients Premier League players including Jordon Ibe (AFC Bournemouth), Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Kadeem Harris (Cardiff City).

Paul Crockford, whose company manages Mark Knopfler, Youngr, Wild Front and Blue Americans, says: “Coda Independent Sports is a unique offering combining business expertise with personal attention and access to a global infrastructure across all media unparallelled in the sports field.”

Coda partner James Whitting adds: “We are also really pleased to be teaming up with the Crockfords in launching our sports agency, Coda Independent Sports. Just need to sign some Arsenal players and that will be job done!”

“Coda Independent Sports is a unique offering”

In other news, Debbie Ward has joined Coda as the agency’s lead on brand partnerships, sync and corporate.

Ward has more than 20 years’ experience developing brand collaborations in media and live music, including a nine-year spell leading brand partnerships for MAMA Festivals/Live Nation and, more recently, working on the launch of Global’s new UK festival business. Ward exited Global earlier this year to take up a CCO role at women’s collective AllBright.

She comments: “I’m really looking forward to this new challenge. Coda has a stellar reputation and an epic portfolio of artists. There’s so much opportunity to collaborate with brands and talent to create content-rich, engaging and potentially ground-breaking solutions.”

Adds Whitting: “We are delighted to welcome Debbie to Coda. Debbie comes with a vast knowledge of brand partnerships and we are very excited for the prospect of the additional services and revenues she is going to bring to our clients.”


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Coda forms strategic partnership with ITG

Coda Agency has formed a joint venture with London-based Independent Talent Group (ITG), one of Europe’s leading film and literary agencies.

The deal, which Coda partner agent Alex Hardee tells IQ has been two years in the making, will “enable broad cross-platform access across their respective rosters and [incorporate] capabilities in brand partnerships and licensing, digital and corporate events”, according to a joint statement from the two agencies.

ITG’s client base encompasses actors, directors, writers, producers, models, presenters, comedians and casting directors, while the company incorporates entertainment and fashion marketing firm ITB Worldwide, corporate entertainment arm ITG Corporate and voiceover agency Advoice.

Also based in London, Coda is one of Europe’s fastest-growing music agencies, currently employing 19 agents. Its live roster includes Take That, The xx, Disclosure, London Grammar, Tiësto, The Prodigy, Sia and Brits critics’ choice winner Rag’n’Bone Man.

Formed in 2002, the agency has shown robust growth over recent years, adding several high profile agents to its ranks including Cris Hearn, who joined from Primary Talent in April 2014; Solomon Parker, who moved from WME Entertainment in August 2015; and, most recently, Natasha Bent, who joined from UTA in November 2016.

The JV enables “broad cross-platform access across the agencies respective rosters and incorporates capabilities in brand partnerships and licensing, digital and corporate events”

Beverly Hills-based Paradigm Talent Agency bought a 50% stake in Coda in January 2014, enabling the two agencies to pool their expertise and resources on a global basis. Paradigm had announced a strategic joint partnership with leading EDM agency AM Only two years prior, while Windish Agency was added to the fold in July 2014.

Of Paradigm’s three ‘strategic partners’, Coda was the only not rebrand as Paradigm earlier this month.

The joint venture with ITG gives Coda the opportunity to offer non-music services to its roster of clients, in a similar vein as agency giants CAA and WME Entertainment. ITG’s client list includes actors Daniel Craig, Colin Firth and Claire Foy, director Danny Boyle and writer-comedian Steve Coogan.

The new Coda-ITG alliance has also announced the launch of a fund – believed to be millions of pounds – to invest in “innovative and future-facing live projects in Europe”. Further details will be announced in the coming months.


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