BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Dec. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading global talent, entertainment and sports company UTA today announced its acquisition of MediaLink, one of the media and marketing world's most trusted and connected strategic advisory firms. The combination's immediate synergies firmly establish UTA's market-leading position at the nexus of strategy, technology, entertainment and marketing.
MediaLink Founder and CEO Michael Kassan joins UTA as a partner and will continue as CEO of MediaLink, which will maintain its powerful brand and full organization as a UTA-owned company.
Kassan and his 150+-member team have built one of the advisory world's most enviable networks of C-suite relationships across entertainment, technology, brands, marketing and finance. This includes longstanding, trusted advisory roles with more than 50% of Fortune's "World's Most Admired Companies," seven of the top 10 global media companies as well as a host of the world's leading brands.
"We have watched Michael Kassan steadfastly build his company over the years. What seemed at first to be an amazing one-man band has become a first-class, global consulting firm with powerful colleagues, deep expertise and unparalleled relationships," said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. "I am truly grateful for the opportunity to welcome Michael and his team to UTA. I know UTA will benefit from their insights, relationships and expertise. And, this acquisition is a clear signal that UTA sees its work at the intersection of entertainment, brands and marketing as a core pillar of the future growth opportunities we are able to provide for our clients."
MediaLink's strengths are a powerful complement to UTA's operations. One of the world's biggest talent representation companies, UTA's client roster includes prominent and successful artists, athletes, musicians and other cultural icons. In recent years, the company also has become known for its fast-growing entertainment marketing and consultancy division, UTA Marketing, which works with leading global brands to build long-term entertainment strategies and relationships with top creators. UTA also has thriving Endorsement and Voiceover as well as Music Brand Partnerships practices.
"The combination of UTA and MediaLink creates an unparalleled offering operating where strategy, culture, entertainment, marketing and technology intersect," Kassan said. "We will optimize our complementary strengths to the benefit of our clients and exponentially expand the opportunities available to them. What's more, MediaLink will be deeply immersed in a creator culture represented by UTA – one that pivots on entrepreneurship and an unwavering passion for artists, entertainment and media. Our two companies operate at the same intersection and share the same vision. It's a perfect fit."
UTA acquired MediaLink from UK-based Ascential PLC.
Kassan continued: "MediaLink has been propelled by our proximity to Ascential for the past four years, and I thank Duncan Painter and the entire Ascential team for being a great partner and ally. We will continue our deep partnership with Cannes Lions under our new ownership."
Since its founding in 2003, MediaLink has worked to establish, expand and cultivate a rich network of relationships across the interrelated worlds of brands, media, entertainment, tech and finance. Consistently ranked as one of the nation's best management consulting firms, their services help companies navigate change, drive competitive advantage and grow their businesses, with a specific emphasis on media and marketing. Core service areas include marketing transformation, data and technology solutions, agency reviews and marketing capabilities development, private equity advisory, as well as executive search and talent development.
As a UTA company, MediaLink will continue providing its unique blend of advisory services.
Additionally, UTA Marketing will become a division of MediaLink called UTA Entertainment & Culture Marketing, where it will carry on its work at the intersection of brands, marketing and the creative community. Co-Heads David Anderson and Julian Jacobs will also join the Executive Leadership Team of MediaLink.
The MediaLink acquisition caps off a year of significant momentum for UTA, which also includes robust expansion of its sports representation and global music businesses, major client signings, and becoming the first top talent company to open a full-service office in Atlanta, in part due to the region's hub of global corporate headquarters. This year, UTA also became the first talent agency to launch an NFT practice, signing major ventures in the space. Earlier this month, UTA also unveiled plans to launch a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) to leverage its powerful network of creative and executive talent in the gaming industry.
MediaLink will continue to maintain offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London. And, UTA has made clear no job losses are anticipated as a result of the acquisition. UTA expects the company to continue to hire and grow.
UTA was advised on the deal by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and PWC. Michael Kassan was advised on the deal by Michelman & Robinson.
One of the most influential companies in the global entertainment business, leading talent, entertainment and sports agency UTA represents some of the world's most iconic, barrier-breaking artists and creators— from actors, athletes and musicians to writers, gamers, and digital influencers. UTA's business spans talent representation, original content production and its strategic advisory and marketing practice that works with the biggest brands in the world. UTA is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, New York and London. More information can be found at unitedtalent.com and by following UTA on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
MediaLink is the media and marketing industry's most trusted and connected strategic advisory firm, specializing in identifying areas of opportunity, optimization, and ultimately growth for its clients. The firm provides counsel for navigating change in the core areas of marketing transformation, data and technology solutions, growth strategy, private equity advisory and executive search and talent development. Founded in 2003 by Michael E. Kassan, MediaLink employs 150 professionals in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London. MediaLink is a UTA company. www.medialink.com
SOURCE United Talent Agency