Upping The Agency Game
When Wasserman acquired Paradigm Talent Agency’s North American music assets in April, it’s no exaggeration to say it made an instant impact on the concert industry. And the company’s timing couldn’t have been more fortuitous, as Wasserman Music emerged just in time for the live business to begin reawakening from a yearlong, COVID-induced hibernation.
“Nobody could have predicted, and still can’t really predict, how quickly and when [the return to touring would happen] and what that’s going to look like,” Wasserman Chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman says. “But, this definitely taught every company lots of lessons about how they could and should operate, and do things they never thought they could.”
It’s been a busy time for Wasserman, who says of the five major transactions he’s closed in the last year, “Obviously the most significant and transformative for our company was the acquisition of the music assets from Paradigm, which we are thrilled to have gotten done.”
The transaction makes Wasserman Group an instant force to be reckoned with in the agency world, and it’s bolstered by the company’s partnership with national advocacy organization Color Of Change right out of the gate.
“Our partnership with Color of Change was so important because our commitment to diversity isn’t about statistics,” Wasserman says. “It’s about the environment and quality and caliber. And it’s incumbent upon us to really be aggressive, to hold ourselves to an incredibly high standard. As a company and the industry, we all have a lot of work to do. But it’s work that we have been doing inside Wasserman for many, many years, not just recently. And we will continue to do so as long as my name is on the door because it’s that important and that fundamental.” Among the challenges that Wasserman faced in the last year was not just completing a long and complicated acquisition process, but creating and maintaining a sense of optimistic momentum during it.
“The fact that it took so long, during such complicated circumstances in the world we’re in, was actually a great way for all of us to get to learn about each other as people and in the way we operate and communicate,” Wasserman says. “It makes for the integration and launching of an awesome music business based on an incredible group of executives.
“We are fortunate because we’ve all been through difficult times together, even though [those onboarding from Paradigm] weren’t working for me and I wasn’t the owner of the business. We’re going to do what we’ve always done, which is focus on creating a culture, one in which our employees can thrive and be successful, and make sure our strategy is clear and our focus is relentless, and serve our clients relentlessly. That’s how we operate. And that’s what I think has made us have some success over the past couple of decades.”