WME | IMG announced the creation of a new holding company called Endeavor, which will include the full portfolio of brands that were formerly part of that mega-agency. The lineup will include WME, IMG, the mixed martial arts organization UFC, The Miss Universe Organization, international art fair organizer Frieze and Adweek’s 2016 Agency of the Year, Droga5, in which Endeavor holds a minority stake.
The latter shop led creative and strategic development for the new holding company’s Endeavor moniker.
The newly-formed organization has also launched Endeavor Global Marketing, a cultural marketing division formed from an existing group of around 500 brand marketers and strategists within the organization. Endeavour Global Marketing works with clients including AB InBev, GE, Microsoft, Visa and Marriott. Endeavor Global Marketing also partners with Droga5, part of the Endeavor network, on clients including Under Armour and YMCA.
“Endeavor Global Marketing was created to marry our team’s strategic and creative expertise with the incredible access and influence that exists across the global Endeavor network,” said Ed Horne, evp of Endeavor Global Marketing. “We’re advancing our work across brand strategy, experiential marketing, public relations, sponsorship, and original content to help brands access culture in meaningful ways that drive business.”
Endeavor will be led by CEO Ariel Emanuel and executive chairman Patrick Whitesell, both of whom will continue to sit on the Endeavor organization’s board of directors.
A spokesperson attributed the move to giving “breathing room” to individual groups under the umbrella and creating “an ecosystem that allows them to grow,” citing the continued expansion of IMG since its 2014 acquisition by WME.
“WME | IMG represented a pivotal moment in our company’s history, but it does not accurately reflect the extent of our diversity or indicate where we’re headed,” Emanuel said in a statement. “In creating Endeavor, we now have a holding company that represents the very definition of the word itself, constantly striving to push boundaries on behalf of our clients and owned properties.”
“Our business at its core remains rooted in access, service and creativity. The one substantial difference is that unlike 20 years ago, we’re now sitting at the center of an incredible global network,” added Whitesell. “We have the relationships and the platforms to help our clients and partners extend their reach and bring their creative initiatives to life.”
A Droga5 spokesperson declined to comment on the news.