March 1, 2022 – Excel Sports Management, an industry-leading sports agency, has agreed to acquire sports and entertainment executive search firm Nolan Partners. Based in London Nolan Partners will continue to be led by the Managing Director Paul Nolan and president Chad Biagini while operating as a new vertical within Excel’s properties division. Primarily focused on executive and board positions, Nolan Partners works globally with clients ranging from sports teams, governing bodies, professional leagues, venues, agencies, broadcasters and other sports companies. The firm also has a performance practice which focuses on the placement of general managers/athletic directors, sports physicians, sports scientists and recruitment specialists.
“Nolan Partners is a globally recognized leader in executive placement because of its unmatched track record, industry connectivity and remarkable growth history,” said Jeff Schwartz, Founder and Chairman of Excel Sports Management. “At Excel, we strive to be the best in every business we enter and similarly Nolan Partners are best in class at what they do. We are extremely happy to help Paul, Chad and the rest of the Nolan team to take their business to the next level within Excel.
“World-class talent is the cornerstone of our business,” said Emilio Collins, partner and commercial director of Excel. “Given the rapid pace of change and the dynamic nature of our industry, there has never been a greater need for top talent. With this acquisition, we will provide another premium service to our growing list of top league, team and rights holder customers. We will also leverage Nolan’s 16 years of experience in Europe to grow Excel’s international footprint.
Nolan Partners has conducted VP, C-suite and board searches in 28 countries on six continents and has been retained for more than 100 searches in the last year alone across major sports leagues in the United States , UK, Europe and Asia. Currently, the firm actively represents clients in Hong Kong, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and Canada, among others.
Nolan Partners was founded in 2006 by Mr. Nolan and Emma Thomson and will continue to operate from its offices in London and Dallas, with some employees moving to Excel’s New York headquarters.
The executive search firm has 20 employees, which will bring Excel’s workforce to around 150. Excel initially engaged Nolan Partners last summer to find a new human resources manager, sources say. . Excel is based in New York with offices in Los Angeles and Miami. The overseas move is her first venture outside the United States
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Nolan Partners’ clients include sports clubs, governing bodies, professional leagues, venues, agencies, universities, broadcasters and major corporations involved in sports. Its client portfolio includes Manchester United FC, Liverpool FC, beIN, Chicago Cubs, NBA, NFL, MLB, Washington Football Team, Wimbledon, Mercedes Formula One, PGA Tour, Breeders’ Cup, Los Angeles Clippers and the British Olympic Association. The firm’s business practice specializes in recruiting senior executives, including presidents, general managers, C-suite leaders, and vice presidents. Its performance practice identifies specialist technical/performance talent, including general managers, technical directors, athletic directors and functional experts in scouting/recruitment, sports medicine, nutrition and sports science.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media