Skip to content

Chad Biagini named as Forty Under 40 Leader

Nolan Partners President Chad Biagini started working in executive search at 16. Now 36, that makes him the sole member of this year’s Forty Under 40 class with 20 years of experience in his chosen field.

Biagini, with founder Paul Nolan, has grown Nolan Partners over 17 years into one of the top sports executive recruitment firms, at least partially due to that head start. Biagini’s father started a search firm specializing in actuaries; graduating from high school early, son joined father in the business.

After a move to California, Biagini flirted with acting, which included McDonald’s TV ads and several movie roles. He returned to executive search, seeking stability. Working at a full-service search firm that specialized in pulling in talent from unrelated industries, Biagini started to apply that formula to sports. “There was new money coming into sports, so we knew there would be room for talent from other industries,” he said. Initial success installing senior management at the Phoenix Coyotes led to opportunities with the San Jose Sharks, UFC and WWE.

A meeting with Nolan at a Leaders Group conference in London allowed them to imagine what could be. Nolan was doing scant business stateside; Biagini was seeking a European beachhead.

“We realized all the talent on the pitch and the fields was moving globally, so why couldn’t executive talent do the same?” said Biagini. Voila: Nolan Partners’ reputation was established as a sports executive search firm with global reach across multiple industries.

That reach and reputation attracted Excel Sports Management, which acquired the firm last year. “In this business, any acquisition is really about about people and Chad is one of the most genuine people I know,” said Emilio Collins, Excel partner and chief business officer. “Combine that with his hustle, and he and Paul have both added so much.” — Terry Lefton

Chad Biagini

President, Nolan Partners, an Excel Sports Management company

Age: 36

Born:Long Island, N.Y.

Education: London School of Economics, M.S.

Family: Spouse, Sarah; children, Capri (10), Cambria (9) and Giovanni (5)

Advice to my 20-year-old self: The importance of work ethic. Also: If you wear a neck pillow on a plane, no one will ever take you seriously.

How I relieve stress: Go to the gym, and I am the soccer coach for all three of my kids.

Favorite saying: “Each of us should lead a life stirring enough to start a movement. We should yearn to change the world. We should love unquenchably, dream unfalteringly, and work unceasingly.” — Max Lucado

Cause supported: My church, Gateway Church, Southlake, Texas.

Person in sports business I’d most like to meet: Ryan Reynolds. We hired the CEO for his soccer team.

Most pressing issue facing my generation is … : Screen addiction.

The sports industry needs to do a better job of … : Development of talent and succession planning.

Original story


Back To Top