Leading talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) today announced a significant investment in the powerhouse sports agency Klutch Sports Group, led by its founder and CEO Rich Paul. Marking a transformative new partnership, Klutch will continue to operate under its own brand and Paul will also become Head of UTA Sports, focusing on building UTA’s sports business for athletes in all their professional endeavors, on and off the field.
“Rich has built Klutch with the vision, values and entrepreneurial spirit that UTA cherishes,” said UTA CEO Jeremy 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.”
Klutch Sports was founded in September 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio and has quickly emerged as one of the most important agencies in all of sports. Its clients include some of the most dynamic basketball players on and off the court including Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, LeBron James, Ben Simmons and John Wall. In the last two years, Klutch has negotiated almost $1 billion in contracts, while expanding to offices in Cleveland and Los Angeles, added two All-NBA clients and three first-round draft picks. More importantly, Klutch has differentiated itself in the representation business by continuing to find new and innovative ways to better serve the players they represent. Main Street Advisors served as Klutch Sport Group’s representative and structured the transaction in collaboration with UTA.
"We started Klutch because we believed there was a different way to represent players. We understood the world was changing and how athletes required an entirely new perspective from their agents. When I met with Jeremy 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 recognize how there is an entirely new way to represent elite athletes. The innovation, resources and talent at UTA is going to supercharge everything we can do and together, UTA and Klutch, will build a transformative global sports business."
CEO, Klutch Sports
UTA is home to many of the world’s most celebrated artists, musicians, journalists, digital stars and other talent—including Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Harrison Ford, Kevin Hart, Angelina Jolie, Kate McKinnon, Tiffany Haddish, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Post Malone, Common, DJ Khaled, and more—and brings to the partnership access to its vast network of entertainment, media and business opportunities. Over the last year, UTA has expanded its global reach, attracted investment from private equity firms Investcorp and PSP Investments to support further expansion, and made a series of acquisitions that added to its full-service capabilities for its clients. In 2019, UTA acquired the leading digital influencer company Digital Brand Architects, and in 2018 acquired electronic music agency, Circle Talent Agency, and top esports companies Press X and Everyday Influencers. UTA also launched Civic Center Media to help clients have both more creative control and greater financial ownership of the content they develop. With Klutch Sports Group, the partnership takes UTA directly into the business of contract negotiations for athletes and elevates its sports practice with the most high-profile and status quo, challenging sports agent working in the business today. To date, UTA’s work with athletes has focused off the field, representing clients including Olympic Gold Medalists Shaun White and Tara Lipinski, NFL Pro-Bowlers Von Miller and Rob Gronkowski, NBA All Star Chris Webber and more, as they pursue additional interests and opportunities in film, television, video games, endorsements, resorts and other pursuits.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisors to UTA on the deal. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP advised Klutch Sports Group.
Leading global talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) represents many of the most acclaimed figures across film, television, news, music, sports, theater, fine art, literature, video games, podcasts and other social and digital content. A passionate advocate for artists, creators and innovators, the company also is recognized in the areas of film finance and packaging, branding, licensing and endorsements. UTA is known for its dedicated digital media group helping clients—from A-list talent to Fortune 500 companies—capitalize on a rapidly changing entertainment, media and business landscape. The agency's worldwide presence includes its Los Angeles headquarters and offices in New York, London, Nashville, Miami and Malmö, Sweden. Information about UTA can also be found by following the company on social media on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.