Marc Anthony is the latest entertainer to wade into the sports business. The singer’s company, Magnus Media, launched a new sports division and formed a baseball agency partnership that signed All-Star pitcher Aroldis Chapman as its first client.
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Magnus Sports aims to represent major athletes worldwide, and the joint venture with agency Praver Shapiro Sports Management will focus on working with Latin baseball players. Praver Shapiro represents several Latin players on its own such as current MLB free agent Juan Uribe.
“Baseball, like music, is an ingrained cultural passion for many Latinos throughout the world, and there’s no shortage of amazing stars of Hispanic origin. Despite that, until now there hasn’t been an enterprise specifically designed to meet their needs,” Anthony said in a statement on Monday.
Chapman, a closer for the Cincinnati Reds and a native of Cuba, is due to hit free agency after the 2016 season. In 2010, the hard-throwing lefty threw the fastest pitch on record at 105.1 miles per hour.
Magnus Media CEO Michel Vega and Praver Shapiro’s Barry Praver and Scott Shapiro will jointly oversee the new agency. Magnus Sports will offer its expertise in marketing and branding, while Praver Shapiro will be responsible for contract negotiations.
“With Magnus Sports, we are changing the existing dynamics and building a new kind of Management Company that understands the culture and knows how to build big media brands,” Anthony said.
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Anthony added that social media is changing the game for athletes by bringing them closer to fans. “That means that athletes, like other entertainers, need management that can help them with both managing their career and building their brand,” he said.
Anthony founded Magnus Media earlier this year. Magnus Media runs a music label, an artist management company and a marketing firm that works with Latin content creators, among other businesses.
Anthony’s sports venture follows a similar move by rapper Jay Z, whose Roc Nation Sports represents well-known athletes including basketball’s Kevin Durant and baseball’s Robinson Cano and Yoenis Cespedes. Roc Nation made a big splash with Cano, its first client. Cano scored a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners before the 2014 season.
Roc Nation Sports began as a joint venture with industry giant Creative Artists Agency, but the two companies split this year.