WME, the talent agency owned by international entertainment and sports giant Endeavor, has 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.
BDA’s founder, Bill Duffy, will become head of basketball at WME Sports, and once the deal formally closes BDA’s agents, staff, and clients will operate under the WME Sports banner.
When WME took its initial stake, Duffy became a strategic advisor.
BDA currently represents over 40 players from North American basketball’s NBA, including Luka Doncic, Scottie Barnes, Chet Holmgren, and Grant Williams.
After the transaction goes through, WME and Duffy will “continue to have a commercial relationship with BDA International,” for global recruitment.
Karen Brodkin and Josh Pyatt, co-heads of WME Sports, said: “It is hard to name a basketball agent more respected across the league than Bill. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have him and his team fully join WME Sports as we continue this chapter of tremendous growth.
“BDA has been a great addition to WME Sports as a whole and we’re excited to continue building on this success.”
Duffy, who founded BDA in 1998, added: “I feel as motivated as ever for this next chapter of my career leading WME Sports’ basketball division. BDA and WME Sports have worked seamlessly together the last two years and I’m eager to formalize this partnership and continue providing the best services and support to our clients throughout their careers.”
The BDA founder will work closely with Brodkin and Pyatt, as well as with WME Sports’ head of basketball strategy and business development Joe Branch, and the agency’s head of basketball marketing and off-court strategy, Carlos Fleming.
WME Sports’ last 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.