Lagardère Unlimited announced today that it has acquired Scottsdale, Arizona-based player representation agency Gaylord Sports Management Group.
The acquisition further solidifies Lagardère Unlimited’s presence in the United States and around the world as a leader in the sports management and marketing industry-expanding the company’s overall reach across all major sports categories.
Furthermore, the deal expands Lagardère Unlimited’s reach into golf course design as a result of Gaylord Sports Management’s expertise and success in this field.
Six Gaylord clients won on the PGA Tour last year, including 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Phil Mickelson and 2011 PGA Championship winner and 2011 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Keegan Bradley. Its LPGA players include four-time U.S. Solheim Cup team member Angela Stanford.
Gaylord’s baseball division last year negotiated a record-setting contract for Atlanta Braves second-baseman Dan Uggla.
Other Gaylord clients joining Lagardère Unlimited’s already impressive list of clients worldwide are 7 time PGA Tour winner Nick Watney, World Golf Hall of Famer and current CBS Sports analyst Sir Nick Faldo, Cincinnati Reds Pitcher Bronson Arroyo, former Atlanta Brave great Tom Glavine, softball legend Jennie Finch, and Phoenix Coyotes Forward Shane Doan.
Gaylord Sports former President and CEO Steve Loy, who founded the company in 2000, has been named President of Lagardère Unlimited Golf. He and former Senior Vice President David Yates will continue to head the company’s leadership team, reporting to Lagardère Unlimited’s Chief Operating Officer in North and South America Kevin O’Connor. Joining Loy and Yates at Lagardère Unlimited will be Gaylord agents Terry Bross, Ben Harrision, Brian Newton, Ken Sarnoff and Eddie Smith.
“Lagardère Unlimited is a worldwide leader in player representation, marketing and consulting so we’re delighted to bring our extensive experience and world-class athletes into the group,” said Loy.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for growth. Our players now have an international marketing platform and we help round out the Lagardère Unlimited’s lineup with golf and baseball.”
Added O’Connor: “For our first domestic acquisition since acquiring BEST almost 2 years ago, we were looking for a strong company which would complement the assetswe already have in place. The addition of Gaylord Sports Management immediately ranks us among the leaders in professional golf representation and gives us an important footprint in baseball as we continue to grow. It should go without saying that we are thrilled to be working with Steve, his team and their clients.”
About Lagardère Unlimited
A division of the Lagardère Group dedicated to Sport and Entertainment, Lagardère Unlimited is one of the world leaders in this sector.
Lagardère Unlimited deploys its expertise in six complementary business lines: distribution of media rights; sale of sports rights and marketing products; production, organization and management of events (including the Rock Opera Mozart, "Elle en scène", the Legg Mason Tennis Classic ); consulting in the management/operation of stadiums, sports grounds and show venues (the Zénith in Paris); representation of sports and arts/entertainment personalities (over 250 talents represented, including Joakim Noah, Reggie Bush, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, Dwight Howard); management of sports training academies (Lagardère Paris Racing* in Paris, the Saddlebrook Academy** in the United States).
Lagardère Unlimited employs over 1,000 people, and its activity extends over three continental zones: North and South America, Europe and Africa, and Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
*SASP Lagardère Paris Racing Ressources - ** 30% owned by Lagardère Unlimited
Lagardère is a pure media group (books, press, broadcast, digital, travel retail and press distribution, sport industry and entertainment), and is among the world leaders in the sector. Lagardère shares are listed on Euronext Paris (Compartment A).