Since joining the company that became Endeavor in 2014, Mark Shapiro has had a great view of the evolution of the entertainment and sports industry. Serving as the company’s president since 2018, the former ESPN and Six Flags executive manages everything from the WME talent agency to the UFC to Professional Bull Riders, IMG Academy, art fairs, stylists, music touring, sports licensing, name-image-and-likeness deals, books, and much more. And he helped C.E.O. Ari Emanuel and executive chairman Patrick Whitesell take the whole thing public in 2021 when many believed they couldn’t.
We chatted on Thursday about the recession, the mandate for his new leaders at WME, the CAA rivalry, agent pay, and much more. This has been edited for length and clarity. (Disclosure: WME represents Puck but not me personally.)
Matt Belloni: A recession is probably coming. Are you guys bracing for a reduction in concert ticket sales? Or a decrease in streaming service spending? Where are you seeing trouble spots?