UTA Buys Stake in Klutch Sports, Rich Paul to Lead New Sports Division

Paul’s clients include LeBron James and Anthony Davis

UTA has purchased a stake in Klutch Sports, the sports talent agency led by Rich Paul, whose clients include NBA superstar LeBron James.

Klutch will continue to operate as a separate brand, with Paul also becoming the head of UTA Sports. UTA did not reveal any financial details.

Along with James, Klutch’s clients include his new Los Angeles Lakers teammate Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Ben Simmons and John Wall. In the last two years, Klutch has negotiated almost $1 billion in contracts. Simmons signed a new five-year, $170 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers last week.

The acquisition of Klutch comes one month after UTA attempted to acquire Paradigm.

UTA joins other agencies including CAA in now having a dedicating sports division. WME also represents athletes in the NHL and NFL and owns the UFC. Until now, UTA’s work with athletes — which include Olympic Gold Medalists Shaun White and Tara Lipinski and NFL stars Von Miller and Rob Gronkowski — has been focused on aiding their off-the-field endeavors.

“Rich has built Klutch with the vision, values and entrepreneurial spirit that UTA cherishes,” UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer said.  “By focusing on growing clients’ businesses and putting their interests first, Klutch is built for the modern athlete who wants to thrive at the intersection of sports, media, music, art and culture.  We are thrilled to work with Rich and his team to build Klutch and UTA Sports into a global powerhouse.”

Klutch Sports was founded by Paul in September 2012.

“We started Klutch because we believed there was a different way to represent players,” Paul said.  We understood the world was changing and how athletes required an entirely new perspective from their agents.  When I met with Jeremy and the UTA team, it was clear to me they were the perfect partner for Klutch’s next phase of growth.  They understand and share our view on the future of sports and recognize how there is an entirely new way to represent elite athletes.  The innovation, resources and talent at UTA is going to supercharge everything we can do and together, UTA and Klutch, will build a transformative global sports business.”

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisors to UTA on the deal. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP advised Klutch Sports Group.