CAA Expands Into Sports

Creative Artists Agency has quietly expanded into the sports representation biz, hiring super agents Tom Condon to represent NFL athletes and Casey Close to handle Major League Baseball clients.

Both agents come from International Management Group, and bring impressive client rosters with them including former USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, who fired super agent Leigh Steinberg less than three weeks before the April 23-24 NFL draft.

Leinart was projected to be the No. 3 pick of the draft at press time, according to guru Mel Kiper Jr.

Dubbed CAA Football and CAA Baseball, the new divisions came into being with the hiring of Condon April 5th. Close came on board five days later.

The divisions will primarily handle on-field representation of athletes, but under the CAA umbrella will be able to take advantage of the agency’s other divisions to develop marketing opportunities such as endorsement deals when they make sense.

Condon represents such star players as Payton and Eli Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson, Chad Pennington, Chris Simms, Drew Brees, Alex Smith and Tony Gonzalez. Close brings stellar baseball talent along, including Derek Jeter, Derrek Lee, Richie Sexson, Mark Buehrle, Eric Milton, Ben Sheets and Kenny Lofton.

– Deborah Speer