Racing for the prize: First Access moves into sports

Chloe Roberts explains how the management firm’s approach to nurturing new talent is helping to recruit football and rugby stars

It’s kick-off for First Access Entertainment’s latest venture: they’re making a play in the sporting world.

The management and promotions firm -best known for artists including Rita Ora and Nicole Scherzinger-has founded First Access Sport, which will be headed up by agent Louis Bell and counts Southampton PC captain Ryan Bertrand, rugby fly-half Danny Cipriani and British tennis player Gabriella Taylor among its roster. “There is a big marriage between entertainment and sports, we’ve seen it getting closer in the last five years. That’s the reason we took the steps into forming this new business,” FAE’s EVP, Chloe Roberts, told Music Week. She explained that, having passed on several approaches from agents needing a  commercial arm, the firm has decided to get fully involved in sport star management and agency.

“Louis, who is Ryan Bertrand’s agent, and Danny Cipriani’s agent Oily Ward, were already talking,” explained Roberts. “They saw the benefit of partnering fully with us, which meant that we fully are participating in the agency side of the business”

Roberts said FAE’s activities in the music industry have helped to recruit some of their sporting clients. not only by taking a few of them to the BRITs, but also by showing their track record for nurturing new talent.

“They liked what we were doing with everything from the top to the bottom, because we are also known for our development,” she explained. “What was really interesting for some of the younger ones was that we don’t just work with people when they’re a name, we work with people from the very early days. I think that definitely attracted them to us.”

Roberts said she also expects the new division to tap into FAE’s other areas of operation, particularly music.

“There are huge synergies that we’re going to see come into play in the next six to 12 months for this new business,” she suggested “From the simple things of artists wanting to go to sporting events, to other collaborations. Some of these athletes may have musical abilities, hopefully we’ll be able to uncover that too.”

For now, though, Roberts is focused on FAE’s first big sporting milestone, their debut football transfer window in January. “I wouldn’t claim to be an expert at all, but listening to the guys talk, I am so interested to hear about it,” she said. ”Things can literally change in a heartbeat”