CAA Sports, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), has acquired ICON Venue Group, an owner’s representative and project management firm. Founded by Tim Romani in 2004, ICON manages the development, design, and construction of sports, entertainment, and public assembly facilities worldwide.
The company will continue to operate as ICON Venue Group, headquartered in Denver, and will be led by Romani. ICON has overseen the development, design, and construction of major stadiums and arenas throughout North America and Europe, including The O2 Arena in London and the ongoing Wrigley Field Restoration Project in Chicago.
Howard Nuchow, Co-Head, CAA Sports said:
Tim Romani is a world-class executive who, in a short period of time, has grown ICON into a dominant player in the venue development space. Tim and his team’s expertise and experience are complementary with our wide-ranging service areas, and we look forward to working collaboratively to develop landmark opportunities in the global sports and entertainment marketplace.
ICON has overseen the development, design, and construction of major stadiums and arenas throughout the United States and Europe, and is currently underway on new construction or renovation projects for sports teams including the Sacramento Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Colorado State University Rams, Toronto FC, Toronto Raptors, Orlando City Soccer, and AS Roma. ICON’s world-class portfolio is the most extensive in the sports and entertainment industry, and includes The O2 arena in London, Consol Energy Center, Prudential Center, Sprint Center, Rogers Place, Sports Authority Field, 10 of the 14 MLS stadiums constructed or renovated, and the Wrigley Field Restoration project, among many others. Romani said:
We could not be more thrilled to join such a prestigious and innovative company with an exceptional reputation in the sports and entertainment industries. There is so much value in the connectivity between CAA and ICON and we will utilize that link to expand into related business opportunities that will add unparalleled new value in the venue development marketplace. CAA Sports is an ideal fit for ICON and together we look forward to creating the most unique venues and fan experiences throughout the world.
CAA Sports and ICON share a likeminded collaborative culture and best-in-class approach to client service. Their combined resources will amplify and enhance their existing relationships in the sports and entertainment marketplace, with CAA Sports providing unmatched access to the agency’s global resources in sports and entertainment, while ICON creates a valuable new service area for CAA and its clients worldwide.
ICON Venue Group is the fifth strategic acquisition by CAA Sports in the past 10 months. CAA Sports’ industry-leading Property Sales group has completed more than $3.5 billion in new sponsorship business on behalf of its clients and orchestrated precedent-setting agreements for the new Yankee Stadium; the Marquee partnership deal at Madison Square Garden; the naming rights for the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium; and the recently announced Chase Center, the future home of the Golden State Warriors. CAA Sports Consulting advises, manages, and activates on more than $2.5 billion in sponsorship rights deals on behalf of leading global brands and is a leader in experiential marketing. In 2015, the agency launched CAA Premium Experience, a full-service hospitality and event management practice that works with Fortune 500 companies across hundreds of global sports and entertainment events annually, and acquired Fermata Partners, a specialized consumer products licensing agency focused on colleges and universities, global football clubs, and iconic sports and lifestyle brands. CAA’s merchant bank, Evolution Media Capital (EMC), provides traditional investment banking services, as well as a broad range of strategic advisory services to maximize growth and expansion for its clients. Since its inception in 2008, it has advised on more than $44 billion in transactions.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
ABOUT ICON VENUE GROUP
ICON Venue Group is the leading Owner’s Representative and project management firm in the sports, entertainment, and public assembly industry with a portfolio of many of the most successful venues in the world. ICON provides a comprehensive spectrum of facility development services required to guide a new facility project from its initial conception through planning, design, construction and opening to ensure years of successful operation for both public and private sector clients in the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia. ICON has managed the development of home venues for NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB MLS, MLL, AFL, CHL, NBDL, DEL and BBL franchises totaling more than $6 billion.
ABOUT CAA SPORTS
CAA Sports represents more than 1,000 of the world’s best athletes, coaches, broadcasters, and sports personalities, and leads all agencies in contract value under management exceeding $6.3 billion, more than double the next closest agency, according to Forbes. Beyond traditional athlete representation, CAA Sports provides unique opportunities for clients off the field, in areas including licensing, endorsements, speaking, philanthropy, books, and video games. CAA Sports also works in the areas of broadcast rights, corporate marketing initiatives, and sports properties for sales/sponsorships, for which the agency won “Best in Property Consulting, Sales, and Client Service” at the 2014 Sports Business Awards. CAA Sports is a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). CAA represents the most creative and successful artists working in film, television, music, theatre, video games, and digital content, and provides a range of strategic marketing services to corporate clients.