World Class Sports Talent Agency
The LA Regional COVID-19 Grant helped Don Franken, owner of World Class Sports talent agency, keep his business afloat after the pandemic caused the entertainment industry to go dark.

Franken founded the sports talent and celebrity agency in 1982, which over the years has booked 6,000 athletes, coaches, announcers, officials, and referees in sports commercials, print ads, endorsements, and speaking engagements. World Class Sports works with "scale" athletes and sports celebrities.

When COVID-19 began, much of the entertainment world was shut down and marketing budgets were among the first line items to get cut. For Franken and his business partner, this meant being unable to book endorsements and appearances for his clients and his whole team working without a salary to keep the business open.

After receiving a grant from the LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund, Franken renewed marketing efforts to bring back business during LA’s reopening process. The grant helped the agency cover COVID-19 related expenses.

“The grant came as a surprise, and came at the suggestion of a business associate who applied for this grant,” Franken said. “I never expected anything but hoped things might work out. It is having a very positive impact.”

World Class Sports is located in Council District 11.

LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund

The LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund is a joint effort between the City and County of Los Angeles to provide financial assistance to micro-entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits experiencing economic hardships due to the coronavirus. Selected applicants were awarded grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Six rounds of applications were held, the last of which ended October 26, 2020.

The grant story above describes how the COVID-19 Recovery Fund assisted a talent agency located on the City’s West Side (CD11). In the upcoming weeks, EWDD Updates will feature more stories on L.A. City businesses that received grants and how the funding is helping them stay afloat during COVID-19.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of November 16, 2020. Read this issue and more.