RedBird Capital Buys Into Wasserman Media

Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams
·2 min read

RedBird Capital has purchased a significant minority stake in Wasserman Media, the sports marketing and talent agency founded by Casey Wasserman.

The stake is between 30% and 40%, according to multiple people familiar with the deal. The valuation isn’t immediately known.

The acquisition brings together two of the more prominent dealmakers in sports and entertainment. RedBird was founded in 2013 by former Goldman Sachs banker Gerry Cardinale, whose firm has made an array of investments across global sports. Wasserman is both a marketing consultant and an agency that represents some of the world’s biggest stars.

The deal closed last fall, the people said. Longtime friends, Wasserman and Cardinale say the tie-up will help grow Wasserman’s business around the world.

“This is all about going on offense,” Cardinale said. “All about scaling this platform.”

Prior to RedBird, Wasserman’s lone investor was Madrone Capital Partners, a family office tied to the billionaire Walton family. RedBird’s investment was purchased from Madrone, and is not related in any way to the $500 million SPAC that RedBird formed with former baseball executive Billy Beane last July.

“We now have this incredible strategic and financial partner, and this family that has significant capital to support our efforts as we execute against our vision,” Casey Wasserman said in an interview. “We couldn’t be doing it with anybody better than Gerry Cardinale and Madrone.”

Cardinale, whose holdings include OneTeam Partners, French soccer club Toulouse FC and assets from the XFL, said the deal with Wasserman is consistent with RedBird’s strategy of investing with families and business founders. RedBird recently announced it was opening an office in Los Angeles.

Formed in 2002, Wasserman’s many internal brands include marketing agency Laundry Service, the media network Athlete Exchange and The Collective, a division of the company dedicated to women in sports and entertainment. Casey Wasserman is chair of both the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics host committee and the 2022 Super Bowl host committee.

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