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UTA Acquires European Soccer Agency ROOF as Klutch Expands Global Reach

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Klutch and UTA Sports are adding a slew of top European footballers to their portfolio.

UTA has acquired ROOF (it stands for Representatives Of Outstanding Footballers), adding a slew of global soccer stars to its portfolio of top athletes.

ROOF, which has about 150 clients across Europe’s “Big Five” leagues — English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1, and German Bundesliga — will continue to operate under its own brand name and with its existing leadership team, who will become UTA shareholders.

Co-founder and managing director Björn Bezemer will also be named head of Klutch Global Football, working with Klutch founder and co-head of UTA Sports Rich Paul and UTA COO and co-head of UTA Sports Andrew Thau, who run the agency’s sports representation business, and will oversee ROOF.

“When you have an opportunity to get into the most popular sport in the world with the top sports soccer representation agency in the world, you take it, and so that’s sort of the starting point for us,” says Thau in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“One thing we always talked about was, how do we want to represent across the ecosystem of sport? And that was always through a global lens. And it’s hard to be global without global football. It’s just the sport that transcends throughout our world,” Paul adds. “So when you talk about the capabilities that we have, the resources that we have, the expertise that we have, and in addition to that, now with ROOF, the representation that we have and at the level that we have it.”

ROOF will also integrate closely with Paul’s Klutch Sports Group, which already represents a number of top names in the NBA, WNBA, NFL and MLB, all sports with global aspirations of their own.

“It wasn’t just only about the players, it wasn’t just only about the agents, it was about the company as a collective, and through our diligence, through our conversations, through our evaluation, what we learned was we were aligned in so many different areas that it just made the most sense,” Paul says.

“We want them to remain who they’ve been. That’s not changing,” he adds. “I think we will become enhancers to strategy. They know the game best. We’ll learn more as it pertains to the game and to the inner workings of the business, and then I think we’ll be able to collectively build out an even better strategy going forward, holistically, as it pertains to the players and and to the other opportunities within the sport.”

Notably, the deal also expands UTA’s footprint in Europe. In 2022 the company acquired the U.K. literary agency Curtis Brown Group, and the deal for ROOF further expands UTA’s global presence, Thau says.

“International expansion, throughout UTA, whether it’s sports or anything else, is something that we are focused on,” Thau says. “This is a football move for us, but it’s also a platform move for us. And, you know, from a sports perspective, we believe it opens up a number of other potential opportunities for us.”

Klutch and UTA Sports represent top players like NBA star LeBron James and the NFL’s Jalen Hurts, while ROOF works with top European footbllers like Virgil van Dijk and Kai Havertz. Paul and Thau say that the deal will also help them build out their roster of female athletes, both in the U.S., where basketball and soccer are growing, but also in Europe.

“I think there’s more eyes than ever on women in sports in general, and so we are also excited about that,” Paul says.

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