Global sports and entertainment giant WME | IMG has announced the formation of Endeavor, a new holding company which will take on the full portfolio of brands that are owned and operated under the WME | IMG banner.
The new entity will assume a portfolio which includes entertainment agency WME; sports events, media rights and talent management company IMG; the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) MMA promotion; and Professional Bull Riders, Inc (PBR).
It will continue to be led by WME | IMG co-chief executives Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, who take on the titles of chief executive and executive chairman respectively.
Other assets to come under the Endeavor umbrella include the company's joint ventures with the likes of Euroleague Basketball and Turner, with whom IMG established the ELeague esports competition in 2015.
WME was formed in 2009, when the former William Morris Agency merged with talent agency Endeavor. WME then acquired IMG in 2014 to form WME | IMG. Starting with Silver Lake’s initial investment in WME in 2012, Endeavor’s list of strategic partners has grown to include CPPIB, Fidelity, Focus Media, FountainVest, GIC, Mubadala, Sequoia Capital, SoftBank, and Tencent.
“WME | IMG represented a pivotal moment in our company’s history, but it does not accurately reflect the extent of our diversity or indicate where we’re headed,” said Emanuel. “In creating Endeavor, we now have a holding company that represents the very definition of the word itself, constantly striving to push boundaries on behalf of our clients and owned properties.”
“Our business at its core remains rooted in access, service and creativity,” added Whitesell. “The one substantial difference is that unlike 20 years ago, we’re now sitting at the centre of an incredible global network. We have the relationships and the platforms to help our clients and partners extend their reach and bring their creative initiatives to life.”