Published On: Wed, Apr 9th, 2014

Irving Azoff MSG Entertainment Acquires 50 Percent of Celebrity Marketing Agency Burns Entertainment

Irving Azoff And Billboard's Editorial Director Bill Werde In conversation At The 2012 Billboard Touring Conference

Azoff MSG Entertainment (AMSGE) has acquired a 50% interest in Burns Entertainment, with the terms of the deal not being disclosed.

Azoff MSG Entertainment was founded in 2013 when the long, successful recording artists personal manager Irving Azoff entered into a joint venture with Madison Square Garden to help musicians find new sources of income.

MSG owns the famous New York City arena of that name as well as the New York Knicks and Rangers and other arenas in the U.S. It also owns the MSG sports television networks.

At the time Madison Square Garden invested US$125 million for its half share in the Azoff MSG joint venture. The company has four areas of expertise; music management, music rights, television production and digital branding.

As reported here on Jewish Business News this past March, Azoff MSG also recently acquired a 50% share in Pop2Life. Pop2Life handles social media integration, mobile marketing, event and concert production and more.


Irving Azoff, 66, began his career in entertainment by promoting local bands while he was still in high school, and he later continued in this field while a college student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In the 1970s Azoff went to work for Geffen Roberts management where he represented the Eagles.

In the 1980s, Irving Azoff served as chairman of MCA records. Over the years he has represented recording artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Van Halen and Christine Aguilera as well as comedians such as Chelsea Handler. Irving Azoff has also co-produced a number of movies.

As chairman of Azoff MSG Entertainment, Irving Azoff works promoting events at Madison Square Garden’s venues.

Burns Entertainment markets celebrities to businesses looking for spokespeople for their advertising campaigns. Some of Burns’ clients include Kirstie Alley, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kim Cattrall and Claire Danes. The firm works with companies such as Acura and Jenny Craig. Burns Entertainment also specializes in music licensing, publishing, sync and master rights.

Burns Entertainment is named after David Burns, who founded the company in 1970. In the last forty four years they have helped famous brands such as Audi, Dr. Pepper, Sprint and Snapple, find the right celebrity spokespeople for their products. In 1993 the company was sold to its current head, Bob Williams, a former public relations director.

Burns Entertainment boasts partnerships on five different continents. In addition to advertising, it also promotes public speaking engagements and personal appearances for its clients. It also deals with product placement and music licensing.

The newly expanded venture will be called Burns Entertainment and Sports Marketing LLC. Burns Entertainment will now be better able to match its clients with businesses that are seeking spokespeople.

Irving Azzof is pleased by the merger with Burns. In a statement Azoff said, “We are thrilled to have Burns as part of the family. Bob Williams, Doug Shabelman and Marc Ippolito have built a globally recognized business and we are looking forward to taking it to new heights.”

The CEO of Burns Entertainment, Bob Williams, is also happy with the arrangement, saying “We think the match with Azoff MSG Entertainment is the perfect partnership to expand our business to the next level. We always say that celebrities are not the only ones who need an agent’s help, the companies seeking their endorsement need an expert to guide them in paying the right price, making the right choice and contracting property for their campaigns, ” adding, “we’re excited that Irving Azoff and his team will be a tremendous partner in exploring high level relationships that compliment our existing clientele and expertise.”



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