(May 10, 2010) Kevin O'Connor is set to leave Saddlebrook for New York City where he will head Lagardère’s expanding American agency arm, according to a published report in the SportsBusiness Journal written by Daniel Kaplan.
O’Connor, who currently serves president of Saddlebrook Properties, will be based in the French agency's soon-to-be opened Manhattan Office.
It is the latest move in a series of transaction that should make Lagardère a major player in tennis management along with IMG, Octagon and CAA.
Lagardère has bought out the Jonathan Blue-founded Blue Entertainment Sports Television (BEST) in an acquisition that is scheduled to be formally announced at the French Open, which starts on May 23rd, the SBJ reports. BEST represents athletes in tennis, football and basketball. Last year, Lagardère lured BEST's Ken Meyerson, who manages Andy Roddick, to join the company. Meyerson brought Roddick with him.
“They are fully committed to doing it and understand it is a long-term play,” O’Connor told The SportsBusiness Journal of Lagardère’s American ambitions. “I certainly see Lagardère becoming part of the big three."
Company chief Arnaud Lagardère, who trains at Saddlebrook, has been intent on expanding his publishing and media company into the American market.
O'Connor's expanded role and the creation of a New York City office makes sense given the fact Lagardère will be representing American athletes.