WME has officially signed a partnership with Chess.com, touting itself as the world's largest online platform for the age-old game of chess. This collaboration extends beyond representation, as WME aims to work closely with Chess.com to elevate the game's popularity across various entertainment domains, including digital media, fashion, film, food, music, sports, television, and theater.
The overarching objective of this partnership is to craft non-scripted content, such as documentaries, and cultivate "celebrity-centric moments," along with generating other crossover content that seamlessly blends chess with diverse forms of entertainment.
As part of the deal, Endeavor, the parent company of WME, has made a strategic investment in Chess.com. WME will serve as Chess.com's exclusive sales agency of record for global partnerships. Erik Allebest, co-founder and CEO of Chess.com, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, "Chess.com is committed to serving our community and growing the game. This partnership and strategic investment from Endeavor will be a major catalyst in helping us create more amazing experiences for the hundreds of millions of chess players worldwide through unique collaborations, content, and competitions."
This move adds Chess.com to Endeavor's extensive portfolio, which includes WME, IMG, Open Bet sports betting service, On Location live events business, 160 Over 90 advertising creative agency, Professional Bull Riders, Frieze Art Fair, and the Miami Open tennis tournament. Additionally, the company holds a majority stake in TKO Group, the owner and operator of UFC and WWE.
Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, acknowledged the impact of Chess.com's community, content, and competition on the surging popularity of chess. He expressed excitement about the collaboration, emphasizing their commitment to expanding Chess.com's reach and attracting more fans through avenues like content development, brand partnerships, events, premium experiences, media rights, and licensing opportunities.