Ron Burkle Puts $30M Into Relativity Sports

With the exit of Happy Walters from Relativity Sports, founding board member Ron Burkle (who is founder of The Yucaipa Companies) now will oversee it as Chairman of the Board and has committed $30M of growth capital to expand the Beverly Hills-based sports agency. While it’s uncertain how many clients Walters might take with him — and he handled a substantial amount there — Relativity Sports said that all its senior baseball agents have renewed their agreements with the company. Two junior agents have resigned.

Walters is a well-liked and well-regarded executive who left Relativity Media a while ago and just exited Relativity Sports. The latter said it will replace him and, in a classy move — unlike that from embattled CEO Ryan Kavanaugh — thanked Walters for growing the division.

Relativity Sports is a non-debtor subsidiary, which mean that it was not part of the relativity bankruptcy proceedings. The joint venture Relativity Sports Management is 50% owned by YC Athletic Holdings with Relativity — that joint venture then owns 59.7% of Relativity Sports.

Kavanaugh sent out Relativity’s own statement, saying that Walters was let go. Later the company also buddied up to Burkle, stating: “As a major investor in Relativity Sports, Relativity Media looks forward to working closely with Ron Burkle and The Yucaipa Companies as they invest in the company’s growth.”

Relativity baseball agents represent more than 75 MLB players and are responsible for some of the largest contracts in the history of the game. “Due to the agents’ hard work, Relativity Sports is a thriving business and is on course to have its most successful year yet,” said Burkle in a statement. “I believe that with my continued financial backing, the company will be able to grow at an accelerated rate, which will be good for clients, agents and all involved.”

Relativity Sports currently represents 400 athletes in the NBA, NFL and MLB and has plans to add management personnel.

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