The second big move made by Emanuel and his WME team was winning Tim Tebow's marketing rights in March 2012 even though Tebow's contract agents were his competitors at CAA.
WME convinced Tebow at the time that he was one of the most marketable celebrities on college campuses across the country, so Tebow passed up overtures to be repped by CAA for marketing purposes. Of course, the rest is history. Tebow barely played for the New York Jets in 2012 and was cut by the New England Patriots before the 2013 season. He eventually fired WME and hired CAA for his off-the-field work.
While this acquisition might be Emanuel's biggest power play yet, many insiders wonder how it makes much sense considering WME isn't adept in businesses that make IMG the most money. IMG is the largest independent producer of sports programming in the world, putting together more than 21,000 hours of television and more than 30,000 hours of radio per year. Its biggest growth engine is its college business, which through licensing, marketing and ticketing contracts with the majority of the BCS conference schools generated $483 million in 2013, the company said.
Over the past couple of years, CAA has turned into the biggest force in the sports representation world, partly by acquiring many of IMG's athlete representation businesses, including football, as well as growing an extensive division that represented sports broadcasters.
IMG was founded by Mark McCormack in 1960 after he signed his first client, Arnold Palmer. The company was purchased by Forstmann Little in 2004 for $750 million. Ted Forstmann, who led the acquisition at the time, died in 2011.