May 19, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) is defended by Los Angeles Sparks forward Joyner Holmes (24) in the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Wasserman completed a deal to acquire Brillstein Entertainment Partners, adding an impressive roster of Hollywood stars to its current stable of sports and entertainment figure. And according to Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr.—who first reported the deal—the two agencies are already collaborating on a high-profile project. That would be a feature documentary on Brittney Griner.

Griner, of course, was wrongfully detained in Russia from February 2022-December 2022 after being arrested while allegedly carrying vaporizer cartridges containing less than a gram of hash oil at an airport. She was ultimately released and returned to the United States as a part of a prisoner swap involving Russian arms dealer arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was 10 years into a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S.

Griner’s detainment, which came one week before Russia invaded Ukraine, transformed her from a women’s basketball star to a household name and, unfortunately at times, a target in the culture wars. Earlier this year, Griner reached a deal to tell her story in an upcoming memoir that will be published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2024.

While there aren’t many additional details available, the news of the Griner documentary provides a look at some of the content we might be able to expect following Wasserman’s acquisition of BPE. While Wasserman possesses one of the most impressive client bases in sports—including Griner — the addition of BPE effectively not only puts the agency in the content creation game, but does so with a roster full of A-list talent, including the likes of Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler.

“It accomplishes two really important things,” Wasserman Chairman & CEO, Casey Wasserman told Deadline. “It adds the management of entertainment talent to our company, which to now has only been sports and music talent, and doing it with what we think is the best management company in the business with incredible leadership in the company.

“That is strategically important and valuable. And the second piece is the ability within that company and using it as a base to grow beyond that company a content/production business. It’s a skillset that we don’t particularly have in-house, not to the scale of what Brillstein does through BCP. And it’s a skillset that is becoming more valuable to our clients globally on a day to day basis.

“If you want to rep your talent in the best possible way, you need the best people in that space to provide all the meaningful and relevant opportunities to them to take advantage of.”

With sports content at a premium amid the ongoing “streaming wars,” Wasserman is effectively throwing its hat in the ring. And that in turn could become a recruiting tool for the agency, deepening its roster of potential subjects for such projects.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.