Wasserman, the agency founded and helmed by Casey Wasserman, has completed a year-long negotiation to acquire Paradigm Talent Agency’s North American live music representation business from founder Sam Gores and his brother Tom Gores, who bought a controlling interest in the agency last year.
The new division’s name? Wasserman Music.
“The new business unit is devoted to the representation of music artists and their development,” a press release announcing the deal reads. “Wasserman Music and its marquee roster of world-renowned artists joins the Wasserman team united by a universal vision, common values, and a singular sense of purpose. The intersection of sports, entertainment, lifestyle marketing, culture, and music comprises the foundation of Wasserman’s business and has fueled its success for close to 20 years.”
Wasserman, who holds titles of chairman and chief executive, adds that he has “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,”
“This is a dynamic opportunity to create new collaborations between the family of brands and talent that Wasserman currently represents,” he continues, “in a meaningful and impactful way, and I am excited to get started.”
Structurally, Wasserman Music will be operated as a unit of the larger Wasserman organization and will be led by Casey Wasserman, his existing executive management team, and a seasoned group of executive agents. Marty Diamond, Jonathan Levine, Jackie Nalpant, Sam Hunt, Corrie Martin, Lee Anderson, and Matt Rodriguez will focus on executive oversight of the business on a day-to-day basis.
Tom Windish, Joe Rosenberg, and Lori Feldman will round out the leadership team “to provide business development, operational, and marketing support, as well as expertise and connectivity in operating and integrating all branded entertainment,” a release from the company reads. “The business will open with a strong balance sheet, more than 130 employees, and plans to expand assertively as the live entertainment business rebounds in 2021 and 2022.”
As part of its announcement, Wasserman Music is partnering with national advocacy organization Color Of Change and has signed onto the organization’s #ChangeMusic Roadmap, which “challenges leaders in music to move the industry beyond conversation and intention and towards actionable racial justice,” according to the company’s release.
“Additionally, Wasserman Music will have broad access to the tools, solutions, and social change strategies advocated by Wasserman’s Inclusion Council and its women-focused unit, The Collective, as they work to embody a more inclusive business.”
The release continues “while the formation of Wasserman Music marks Wasserman’s foray into artist representation, the new company will draw on Wasserman’s marketing and analytics pedigree, advising, and activating strategies for clients in the music business. Wasserman Music agents have spent decades working seamlessly together forging their distinct approach to artist representation. They have longstanding relationships with a diverse array of the world’s most impactful artists, many of whom they have worked with from day one to grow their careers and develop massive, life-long fan bases. With the launch of Wasserman Music, these artists will now have access to the unparalleled suite of resources already in place at Wasserman.”
Company officials say the agency will utilize a “Music meets Method model,” bringing together artists’ touring, content, partnerships, and enterprise will be supported by analytic and insight tool like proprietary data, performance sentiment, brand and business health and impact, and other strategic marketing and technology tools and approaches to enable talent success and harmony.
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. The result will be a turbocharged consultancy that delivers perspective to brands considering an investment in the high return touchpoint of music.
Artists on the Wasserman Roster include Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers, Dave Matthews Band, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Old Dominion, Phish, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Sturgill Simpson, Black Pumas, Brandi Carlile, Tyler Childers, Kaytranada, Normani, Run the Jewels, Tash Sultana, Diplo, DJ Snake, Flume, Jack Harlow, ODESZA, and Skrillex.
Wasserman was represented by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as Wasserman’s exclusive financial advisor.
Paradigm was represented by Venable LLP.