We say it all the time in the sports industry: “This is a people and relationship business.” People are a company’s key strategic advantage. Your competitors can build similar products, but they can’t clone your people. Your talent and culture are everything. It is humans who forge new markets, develop clients and score game-winning touchdowns. Products do not create themselves — people create those products. Chad Biagini, Nolan Partners’ Global Head of Sport and MD North America, discusses how, as the sports business continues to modernize and institutionalize, pre-eminent brands and properties recognize the importance of valuing human capital properly. This is leading to an overdue shift of elevating human resources into an executive position. Chelsea FC, the Oakland A’s, Liverpool FC and Endeavor all recently hired senior HR leaders. These organizations acknowledge the fierce competition for talent both on and off the field. They find it essential to build employer brands where the best talent wants to work. The talent agenda is the primary role of these executive HR positions.