WME, the talent agency owned by international entertainment and sports giant Endeavor, has struck a deal with online chess platform Chess.com.
WME will help Chess.com build its popularity across digital media, fashion, film, food, music, sports, television, and theater, while Endeavor also made a strategic investment in Chess.com. WME will also represent Chess.com as its exclusive sales agency of record for global brand partnerships.
The partnership will involve developing non-scripted content such as documentaries, organizing celebrity moments, creating crossover content to attract new audiences, and elevating Chess.com’s profile in mainstream media.
As part of the strategic investment, Endeavor will also advise Chess.com in events and experiences, media rights deals, content production and distribution, experiential marketing, and brand licensing.
Ariel Emanuel, chief executive of Endeavor, said: “Chess.com’s unique community, content, and competition is a driving force behind chess’ increasing popularity.
“We are excited to help further expand their reach and bring more fans to the game via content development, brand partnerships, events, premium experiences, media rights, and licensing opportunities.”
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Erik Allebest, co-founder and chief executive of Chess.com, added: “Chess.com is committed to serving our community and growing the game.
“This partnership and strategic investment from Endeavor will be a major catalyst in helping us create more amazing experiences for the hundreds of millions of chess players worldwide through unique collaborations, content, and competitions.”
Earlier this year WME struck a deal to acquire the BDA Sports Management basketball representation firm.
WME Sports first took a minority stake in BDA in December 2020, with this latest deal seeing the agency acquire the remaining shares.
WME Sports’ previous major move came in September last year when the talent representation firm was appointed by US college sports’ Big 12 Conference to lead its global content and commercial strategy.
Earlier that same month, meanwhile, Richard Weitz and Christian Muirhead were appointed as co-chairs of WME by Endeavor.
They replaced Lloyd Braun, the previous incumbent in that role, who stepped down.