Endeavor Snags a Big New Client: the Olympic Games

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Just weeks after its debut as a public company, Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. has added a big new client to the roster of stars repped by its talent agents: the Olympics.

Endeavor’s On Location division has been hired to sell hospitality packages for three Olympic Games, starting with Paris in 2024, according to a statement Wednesday. On Location will provide concierge support, accommodations, on-call guest services, transportation and dining options for the fans who buy its packages. The company already handles these services for the Super Bowl and the PGA Championship.

The Olympics are the largest sporting event in the world. More than 10,000 athletes competed in the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, while hundreds of thousands of tourists traveled to the city. The International Olympic Committee postponed the 2020 games due the coronavirus, but plans to proceed with the summer games next month in Tokyo.

The pandemic has battered Endeavor, which has built much of its business around live events. The company spent $660 million to acquire On Location last year, adding to a stable of assets that includes the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Professional Bull Riders and one of Hollywood’s biggest talent agencies.

Late Wednesday, Endeavor reported its first quarterly results since going public in late April. Revenue dropped 10% in the first quarter to $1.07 billion from a year earlier — before the pandemic — but was in line with analysts’ estimates. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to $199.5 million. Covid-19 hurt two of the company’s three businesses — events and talent representation — but revenue at its sports businesses grew 22%.

For the year, the company predicts revenue of $4.76 billion to $4.83 billion, above analysts’ projections, and adjusted Ebitda of up to $745 million.

Endeavor is banking on fans’ pent-up enthusiasm for concerts and sporting events to boost its fortunes in the years ahead. Shares of the company have increased more than 22% since it went public.

“There seems to be a growing enthusiasm for what a post-pandemic global life can be,” said Paul Caine, president of On Location. The company, which offers luxury travel, accommodations and experiences like on-field and post-game access at major sports events, is already marketing packages for the 2022 Super Bowl in Los Angeles.

The Olympics are also overhauling the way tickets are sold. Under the current model, fans buy tickets from sellers in their home country. Under the new model, fans from anywhere in the world will buy tickets from the games’ website.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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