US agency giant expands operations into Europe with three new offices.
- Wasserman to operate offices in Zurich, Helsinki and Chicago
- Acquisition sees leading Acme executives head to Wasserman
- NHL players including Tuukka Rask and Patrick Eaves join Wasserman roster
US-based sports marketing and talent representation agency giant Wasserman will expand its ice hockey operations into Europe following the acquisition of Acme World Sports.
The deal will see Wasserman operate the specialist ice hockey agency’s offices in Zurich, Switzerland and Helsinki in Finland, as well in Chicago.
A number of Acme’s leading executives will head to Wasserman as part of the acquisition, including founder Markus Lehto, senior vice president of hockey Simo Niiranen and vice president of hockey Pete Rutili, among others.
Acme, which was established in 1995, represents ice hockey stars across North America and Europe, including National Hockey League (NHL) players like Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, Patrick Eaves of the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula.
Wasserman, which has a large National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) talent representation practice, became a major player in ice hockey when it purchased a significant equity stake in Orr Hockey Group in 2018.
The company’s hockey division, which is led by agents Jeff Jackson, Dave Gagner and Judd Moldaver, represents some of the NHL’s top players including Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews.
“Hockey is a global sport and the Acme team excels at representing hockey players in both North America and Europe,” said Jason Ranne, Wasserman’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, talent representation. “Markus [Lehto] and the Acme agents understand the needs of international hockey players and have enjoyed tremendous success managing their careers for over 25 years. We are thrilled to pair Wasserman’s global talent representation platform with their deep roster of veteran and next-generation talent.”
Lehto added: “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.”