Feb. 28, 2022 (NEW YORK) – Excel Sports Management, an industry-leading sports agency that represents iconic talent, blue-chip brands and marquee properties, has agreed to acquire sports and entertainment executive search firm Nolan Partners. Nolan Partners will continue to be led by Chief Executive Officer Paul Nolan and President Chad Biagini while operating as a new vertical within Excel’s Properties division.
Primarily focused on senior executive and board level roles, Nolan Partners works on a global basis with clients that range from world famous sports teams, governing bodies, professional leagues, venues, agencies, broadcasters and other major corporate organizations in sports. The firm also has a Performance practice that focuses on placing general managers/sporting directors, sports medicine, sports science and recruitment specialists.
“Nolan Partners is a globally recognized leader in executive placement due to their unmatched track record, industry connectivity and remarkable growth story,” said Jeff Schwartz, Founder and President, Excel Sports Management. “At Excel, we strive to be the absolute best at any business we enter and, similarly, Nolan Partners are best-in-class at what they do. We are tremendously excited to help Paul, Chad and the rest of the team at Nolan take their business to the next level within Excel.”
“World class talent is the cornerstone of our business,” said Emilio Collins, Partner and Chief Business Officer Excel. “Given the rapid pace of change and dynamic nature of our industry, never has there been more of a need for top-tier talent. With this acquisition, we will offer yet another premium service to our growing roster of leading league, team and rightsholder clients. We will also leverage Nolan’s 16-year history of operating in Europe to grow Excel’s international footprint.”
Nolan Partners has executed VP, C-suite, and Board searches in 28 countries on six continents and has been retained for over 100 searches in the last year alone across the major sports leagues in the US, UK, Europe, and Asia. Currently, the firm is actively representing prodigious clients in Hong Kong, Switzerland, UK, US, Canada, among others.
“Over the last 16 years, we’ve grown to become the biggest search firm in the world dedicated to executive search in sports and entertainment, working in partnership with iconic brands and wonderful clients across more than 20 countries and in every major sports league,” said Nolan. “Today, we join together with Excel, enhancing our ability to see our clients achieve their fullest potentials both on and off the field.”
“Excel’s relationships, reputation, client roster, and commitment to excellence are second to none and precisely why we are so excited about our new partnership,” said Biagini. “Our combined capabilities magnify our opportunity to continue this story of rapid growth and expansion into new markets and enhanced product offerings.”
Nolan Partners was founded in 2006 by Nolan and Emma Thomson to address the gap in the global market for an executive search firm focused wholly and exclusively on working with clients in sports, entertainment and related sectors.
Nolan Partners will continue to operate out of its offices in London and Dallas with select staff joining Excel’s New York headquarters. This marks Excel’s first footprint in Europe and will grow to support the agency’s international business across multiple functions.