Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale looks to leverage IMG abilities
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press
IMG, an Endeavor company and global player in events, media, sports and fashion, has acquired a majority stake in Barrett-Jackson, a premier collector car auction and live events company.
IMG, which owns, operates and commercially represents hundreds of events around the world, including Frieze art fairs, the Madrid and Miami Open tennis tournaments, Formula Drift, and New York Fashion Week: The Shows, will serve as Barrett-Jackson’s strategic partner, according to a press release.
Craig Jackson, who as CEO of the company, has built Barrett-Jackson into one of the world’s foremost brand authorities and lifestyle destinations for premium collector cars, and his Scottsdale-based team, including President Steve Davis, will look to leverage IMG and Endeavor’s global network, the release states.
Barrett-Jackson’s event portfolio includes high-energy auctions in Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Palm Beach and Houston attract many of the world’s most prominent auto collectors, fans and celebrities, as well as millions of TV viewers, and see annual sales of more than 3,600 cars at no reserve. Its flagship Scottsdale event, founded in 1971, auctions highly sought-after and valuable automobiles and annually welcomes more than 300,000 attendees, making it one of the oldest and largest collector car auction events in the world.
“We have long been admirers of Barrett-Jackson and have seen first-hand the scale, excitement and 50 years of tradition surrounding their events,” said Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel. “Like IMG, Barrett-Jackson is a pioneer of its industry, and we look forward to working with Craig and his team to build on its impressive legacy across categories including experiences, hospitality, content, marketing and partnerships.”
Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale is home to brand
Mr. Jackson says the collaborative opportunity is unparalleled.
“Pairing Barrett-Jackson with the unique power of the Endeavor network is an unparalleled opportunity for our company, immediately opening doors to amplify and accelerate the growth of Barrett-Jackson as a global lifestyle brand,” he said. “I couldn’t be more excited to have the best partner as we look to optimize our fan experience and create new touchpoints for car enthusiasts around our live events and media offerings.”
Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson, echoed a similar sentiment.
“After more than 25 years with Barrett-Jackson, I can’t wait for this next chapter for our customers,” he said. “We’ve built something incredibly special and with the expertise and relationships of IMG, Craig and I look forward to elevating our offering and attracting a whole new generation of fans.”
This investment in the industry comes at a time when enthusiasm around collector cars and live events, demand for auto-related content, and collector car prices are at a record high, industry professionals suggest.
Barrett-Jackson was founded in 1971 by Craig Jackson’s parents Russ and Nellie Jackson and Tom Barrett. Since Craig took over the business in 1995, Barrett-Jackson has been at the forefront of innovation, from the introduction of the popular no reserve auction format and broadcasting of its bidding and events to more than 200 territories via A+E Networks, to developing best-in-class proprietary technology and expanding beyond classic cars.
More recently, the company entered the online car listings and auction business through its acquisition of the Collector Car Network (CCN), the parent company for ClassicCars.com and AutoHunter.com, which garner more than 5 million monthly online visitors.
Officials familiar with the matter report, Moelis & Company LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Barrett-Jackson. Eisner LLP, DLA Piper LLP and Perkins Coie LLP acted as legal advisors to Barrett-Jackson. Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Endeavor.