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Wasserman creates music booking agency after completing Paradigm acquisition

North American sports marketing and talent management firm Wasserman has launched its new music-focused booking agency following the acquisition of the music division of the Paradigm agency.

Wasserman Music, which will represent artists including Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Billie Eilish, is to be operated as a unit of the larger Wasserman organisation.

A team of more than 130 employees will be led by agency chairman and chief executive Casey Wasserman and his existing executive management team, and the group said it plans to “expand aggressively” in 2021 and 2022.

Wasserman said its new clients would benefit from a large array of existing in-house services such as individual brand strategy, talent and artist marketing and short and long-form content development.

Wasserman Music and Wasserman will coordinate on a ‘Music meets Method’ model whereby artists’ touring, content, partnerships, and enterprise will be supported by analytic and insight platforms, including proprietary data, performance sentiment and other strategic marketing and technology approaches.

“The new music unit brings the opportunity for Wasserman to amplify its existing marketing offerings to brands looking to connect with consumers via music and sports programs,” a Wasserman spokesperson said.

“The result will be a turbocharged consultancy that delivers perspective to brands considering an investment in the high return touchpoint of music.”

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Wasserman operates across six continents with offices in more than 20 cities worldwide. Its existing clients include global sports stars from US major league teams and football, and it also represents leading brands.

“I have worked side-by-side with this remarkable group of people to build a blueprint for success and I am continually impressed with their tenacity and care for both their clients and the business. But most important is our shared commitment to cultivating a culture of forward progress so this new business appropriately reflects the artists and fans we serve,” said Casey Wasserman, who spearheaded Los Angeles’ successful bid for the 2028 Olympic Games.

“This is a dynamic opportunity to create new collaborations between the family of brands and talent that Wasserman currently represents in a meaningful and impactful way, and I am excited to get started.”

No financial details were given of its acquisition of Paradigm’s music division, although Variety claims the latter’s collected music operations were valued at as much as $200m before the pandemic. Paradigm chief executive and founder Sam Gores cut costs sharply in the wake of the global lockdown and the business, which was founded in 1992, has now spun off the division.

In a statement, Gores said: “This agreement is a win for all parties and a vital step on the restructuring path we embarked upon more than a year ago. It represents an important transition for the incredible music agents of Paradigm and the artists they so brilliantly serve.

“We are huge fans of Casey Wasserman and the company he’s built, and I am very pleased that he and his team will be at the helm of this important business line. It’s both thrilling and bittersweet to reach this agreement, transition to a new era for Paradigm, and initiate a stabilising solution during a global pandemic that has created an existential crisis for our industry.”

Image: Frank Schwichtenberg / CC BY-SA 4.0 / cropped for size