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It's the coming together of one of Hollywood's most powerful agencies—William Morris Endeavor, backed by private equity partner Silver Lake, and the biggest global sports and event marketing agency, IMG Worldwide.
On Wednesday, WME and Silver Lake announced a deal to buy IMG, and though they didn't disclose details, they're reportedly paying about $2.4 billion for the agency. Together the two firms will create a global powerhouse that spans traditional entertainment, live events, sports, modeling and music.
(Read more: 2014—The age of media/tech convergence)
The deal brings together WME's top talent, which ranges from Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, The Rock, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and music stars Lady Gaga and Rihanna. IMG represents a wide range of fashion, sports and music names, including Gisele Bundchen, Peyton Manning, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Justin Timberlake, Lindsey Vonn and Taylor Swift.
Why is it such a big deal? It shows the shift away from the slower-growing traditional movie business, once Hollywood agencies' bread and butter. It's a move toward sports—increasingly the most valuable content, since it's the rare type that must be viewed live. Plus, it's a vote of confidence in live events, which consumers and marketers are willing to pay up for—they're arguably increasing in value with the global conversation on Twitter and Facebook.