TLA Worldwide backs new rights agency

Athlete representation, event management and sports marketing group TLA Worldwide has made a move into the sports-rights business by backing newly-formed agency Talisman Sports and Media.

TLA is working in partnership with Simon Thomas and Andrew Guy, who were previously engaged in global commercial roles at Fox Sports, in the new venture.

Talisman will focus on the commercial exploitation of existing sports rights within the TLA Group and the development of new opportunities. It will be headquartered in the UK with offices in London and Switzerland.

TLA will not initially have a shareholding in Talisman but has the option to acquire a majority stake within a five-year period from the date of today’s (Tuesday’s) announcement.

Prior to his role as executive vice-president of global sport and content sales at Fox, Thomas (pictured) was chief executive of Team Marketing, the commercial agency responsible for marketing and sales of club competitions run by European football’s governing body Uefa, including the Champions League and Europa League. 

Guy, previously Fox’s senior vice-president of global sport, came from a commercial and business affairs role at CAA Eleven, Uefa’s agency for the sales of national team competitions. Before that he was commercial director at Team Marketing.

Thomas, who will serve as managing director of Talisman, said: “The sports marketplace is extremely dynamic right now, reflecting a rapidly changing media environment. Sports rights are becoming increasingly valuable and rights owners need to understand how they treat those rights to best develop their brands and properties. TLA is an ambitious organisation with excellent relationships in a variety of sports. We think it’s a good fit for us and we look forward to making this partnership a success.”

TLA chairman Bart Campbell added: “Taking a stake in the new business is in line with TLA's stated strategy to expand its range of services and geographic presence. TLA has a strong presence in athlete representation, sponsorships, event creation and development. Working with Simon and Andrew’s specialist marketing and media rights expertise will enhance TLA’s overall offering and help us pursue new opportunities in tandem, better servicing our clients’ needs.”