Wasserman announced the acquisition of Acme World Sports this morning, giving Wasserman hockey one of the largest stables of pro hockey stars in the world, per The Athletic’s Scott Powers. Wasserman now reps close to 75 NHL players.
Wasserman already represents some of the NHL’s brightest young stars, including franchise cornerstones like Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid. But by teaming with Acme World Sports, they’ve broadened their reach and greatly expanded their foothold in Europe, writes Powers. Tuukka Rask, Teuvo Teravainen, Esa Lindell, and Mikko Koskinen are some of the more lucrative contracts secured by Markus Lehto, co-founder of Acme World Sports. His clients now join Wasserman, a global brand with a more comprehensive portfolio. Lehto and much of his team will continue to rep their clients but under the Wasserman umbrella.
Practically speaking, we can expect Wasserman to make continued inroads into NHL representation. With such a broad and diverse stable of NHL stars, the appeal of the agency only grows, and young players looking to make their first agency decision will have to consider Wasserman when given the opportunity.
A look at their client list shows Wasserman’s international aspirations – presumably one of the primary motivations behind this acquisition. Wasserman represents stars across the global sports landscape, from basketball stars like Russell Westbrook, Klay Thompson, Domantas Sabonis, and Derrick Rose, to baseball stars like Giancarlo Stanton, Yu Darvish, and Javier Baez, to soccer stars like Jordan Henderson, John Stones, and Jamie Vardy.
They’ve been active in recent years acquiring agencies like Acme World Sports. These mergers are huge for an agency like Wasserman because they not only remove a competitor from the landscape but in doing so, Wasserman quickly and broadly expands their client base and opens new markets. They also add to their collection of agents, garnering years of experience and industry connections by joining forces with – in this case – Markus Lehto and his team.
In the announcement released on Wasserman’s website, Lehto provides his thinking on the merger, saying, “I am extremely excited about this opportunity to be part of Wasserman’s hockey group. My goal has always been to offer the best possible representation for each individual client. Over the past decade, our clients have had tremendous success and we have had steady and continuous growth with them. During the lengthy and thorough transaction process, Jason, Jeff, Dave and Judd assured all of us that, together and united, the expanded Wasserman Hockey group will provide the best service any player or prospect can ask for.”