Is Ari Emanuel Spooking Talent At IMG Worldwide? WME Denies New Report

Is Ari Emanuel Spooking Talent At IMG Worldwide? WME Denies New Report

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New report suggests that Emanuel may be alienating talent at the sports management company

A new report Friday suggests that sports management powerhouse IMG, recently acquired by WME, may lose several high-profile clients because of fears over Ari Emanuel not understanding the culture of the sports agency world.

The New York Daily News claims that Joe Montana and baseball slugger Joe Mauer may leave to rival agency Excel over the disconnect.

See video: Fortune Editor Calls Ari Emanuel a ‘Lunatic'; Patrick Whitesell Insists He's ‘A Phenomenal Partner’

“It's symptomatic of Ari not understanding the environment in which he's now operating,” the insider told the Daily News.

The insider added: “This is the beginning of the expected exodus since Ari and Patrick [Whitesell] took over.”

Also read: Katherine Heigl Exits CAA, Signs With WME (Exclusive)

Daily News also cited — as a proof of Emanuel's cultural mismatch — an anecdote that he had to change out of jeans to go to the Masters in Augusta.

A WME representative denied the report.

In December 2013, Emanuel won a bidding war for the talent agency for a deal reportedly worth $2.3 billion.