WME has acquired full ownership of BDA Sports Management, which has built up a formidable client list of NBA players during its 25 years in business.
BDA founder Bill Duffy will join WME Sports as head of its basketball division and BDA agents, staff and clients will be under the WME umbrella after the official close of the deal.
In 2020, WME had taken a minority position in BDA, which was founded in 1998 and has repped many top-tier players, among them 30 NBA Draft lottery picks, 44 All-Stars and 15 winners of an NBA title. BDA’s current roster includes more than 40 NBA players, among them Luka Dončić, Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett and Deandre Ayton.
“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,” WME Sports co-heads Karen Brodkin and Josh Pyatt said in a press release. “BDA has been a great addition to WME Sports as a whole and we’re excited to continue building on this success.”
Basketball Hall of Famers Yao Ming and Steve Nash have also been on the BDA client list in the past.
“I feel as motivated as ever for this next chapter of my career leading WME Sports’ basketball division,” Duffy said. “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.”
Duffy will continue to work closely with Carlos Fleming, WME Sports’ head of basketball marketing and off-court strategy, as well as with Brodkin and Pyatt, as well as Joe Branch, WME Sports’ head of basketball strategy and business development.
WME Sports already represented a prime cut of NBA talent prior to the deal. Aided by partnerships with BDA and Innovate, WME said, the company netted the most lottery picks of any agency at the most recent NBA Draft.
The acquisition comes against a backdrop of corporate realignment at WME, which is a unit of Endeavor Group Holdings. WME Sports recently brought together IMG’s legacy tennis, golf, action, and Olympic sports business with WME’s sports marketing and content business. The marketing and content team has helped build brands for Serena Williams (Nine Two Six Productions), LeBron James (Springhill), Peyton Manning (Omaha Productions), Kylian Mbappe (Zebra Valley) and the late Kobe Bryant (Gravity). In addition to men’s and women’s basketball, WME Sports also has clients in football and baseball.
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