Blue Equity buys leading NFL agency
May 20, 2007
Blue Equity, which launched a sports agency "Football's popularity in this country, in the
business last year by buying the former SFX last five years, has exploded," Blue said. "We
tennis, events and television divisions, has just have to be there. It's the No. 1 dominant
acquired the firm of top NFL player agent Joel sport in the country, based on fan support and
Segal, who counts Reggie Bush and Michael economics, and we think we found the perfect
Vick among his clients. person to be added to our platform in that
The acquisition will bring 50 NFL player clients
to Louisville-based Blue Equity and will 'Right fit at the right time'
instantly mark the firm as a major player in
representing athletes in the most popular Segal said he has met with other companies
sport in America, according to Sports Business interested in acquiring his firm in the last few
Journal, a sister publication to Business First. years.
Segal's other clients include NFL quarterbacks "You go with your gut and what you think is a
Jason Campbell and Tarvaris Jackson, rookie perfect fit," Segal said. "I think that when I
standout Marques Colston, and Pro Bowlers met Jonathan, his plan, his credibility in the
DeAngelo Hall, Muhsin Muhammad, Darren business world and his enthusiasm, all
Sharper and Will Smith. combined, seemed like the right fit at the right
In last month's NFL draft, Segal represented
three first-round selections -- Levi Brown (No. Last year, Blue Equity jumped into the agency
5), LaRon Landry (No. 6) and Craig Davis (No. business by acquiring the SFX tennis, media
30) -- and was the only agent to represent and events businesses, led by sports pioneer
two top-10 picks. Donald Dell and tennis agent Ken Meyerson.
Segal to lead Blue's football division Shortly after that, the company hired veteran
basketball and football agent Bill Strickland.
Jonathan Blue, chairman and managing Strickland said he was part of the review
director of Blue Equity, would not provide process for the acquisition of Segal's business
financial terms of the deal, except to say that and that it will allow him to concentrate on his
it was an acquisition of Segal's company, New preferred sport of basketball.
York-based Worldwide Football, and that Segal
has a long-term employment agreement. He Blue said he is in discussions about additional
will become president of Blue Equity's football acquisitions and could announce another deal
division. as soon as this week.
Segal is considered one of the most powerful Blue said he is interested in acquiring sports
football agents in the country, along with CAA properties, including events, as well as agents,
Sports agents Tom Condon and Ben Dogra and and that Blue Equity could expand into
independent agent Drew Rosenhaus. baseball, hockey and golf.
"Joel is one of the premier agents in the entire The deal to acquire Segal's company signals
sport," said Blue, adding that he is "not buying that the run on agent firms, which began last
client lists," but rather is adding people who year with major acquisitions by Wasserman
are "the right fit" to build Blue Equity's sports Media Group and Creative Artists Agency, is
division into a multisport marketing company not over.
that can take advantage of what Blue predicts
to be enormous growth in the sports business. Blue Equity becoming known as a player
And Blue Equity, which has not received the business and that both liked Segal and
same industrywide attention as WMG and CAA approved of the deal.
Sports, might very well be a serious player.
Segal "is an experienced veteran but a
In addition to the purchase of Segal's relatively young guy," Dell said. "I think that
business, there has been a buzz about Blue Jonathan Blue is really quite determined to
Equity in agent circles of late, as the fledgling build this thing into major proportions. I think
firm has had a surprisingly strong recruiting what he is trying to build is a multipurpose,
season prior to next month's NBA draft, multisport marketing company. He wants to
signing University of Florida and NCAA be competitive with all of them, from IMG to
Championship star players Joakim Noah and Octagon to Wasserman Media Group."
In addition to sports, Blue Equity has holdings
Blue Equity now represents stars in multiple in publishing, real estate and financial
sports, including top American tennis players services.
Andy Roddick and brothers Bob and Mike
Bryan, top women's tennis player Justine Last year, Blue Equity sold an 80 percent
Henin, NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace and now stake in its Spanish language telephone
NFL stars Vick and Bush. directory business, which publishes the Enlace
Spanish Yellow Pages, to Telmex, a telephone
Dell, who serves as president of tennis, media company owned by billionaire Carlos Slim
and events, said he and Strickland both were Helú, one of the richest men in the world.
consulted on the acquisition of Segal's