July 28, 2016 – Executive search firm Snodgrass Partners has established a new tennis recruiting and consulting division. The new sports practice combines more than 60 years of tennis industry experience with decades of executive search, consulting and alternative hiring expertise.
The tennis recruiting and consulting arm of Snodgrass Partners matches NCAA Division I tennis programs, racquet clubs and resorts with top coaches, professionals, operations directors and general managers. In addition to recruiting and placement, the firm offers consulting on topics ranging from facility upgrades, raising capital, youth and adult programs that drive membership and player recruitment.
“Snodgrass Partners has a long history tied to assisting clients with key hires,” said founder and president Steve Snodgrass. “But we also have a wealth of experience in the tennis industry – giving us a thorough understanding of the culture and business of tennis.”
As the lead recruiter for its new sports division, Mr. Snodgrass has more than 30 years of C-suite talent recruitment experience that is augmented by insight gained from playing and coaching tennis at the NCAA Division I level. He also raised the capital to build an indoor tennis facility, where he served as president and head teaching professional earlier in his career.
Joining him in the tennis practice is Christa Townsend, who offers more than 25 years of experience in mergers, co-promotions, new business development and product launches. A former professional and college tennis player, Ms. Townsend served as head women’s coach for two NCAA Division I programs. She holds top-ranked player status in Missouri Valley and Southern California USTA sections and is a certified USPTR professional.
“We believe our new tennis recruiting model is unique to the tennis industry,” Mr. Snodgrass said. “We offer a very specialized skillset that enables us to address the specific needs of athletic directors, tennis directors, general managers, tennis pros, players and collegiate coaches.”
Snodgrass Partners’ new tennis division just recently placed Stu Upson as chief operating officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum based in Newport, RI. The organization had been seeking a candidate with broad-ranging experience in leading major sports entities. In just 90 days, Mr. Snodgrass was able to qualify more than 15 viable candidates for the Tennis Hall of Fame to interview from more than 100 global networking resources.
Mr. Upson has more than 20 years of experience in managing sports and entertainment properties. Most recently, he was executive director of the United States Bowling Congress, the national governing body of bowling. Previously, he served as SVP, sales and marketing at Skip Barber Racing and as SVP, sports and entertainment marketing at First USA Bank.
“Steve Snodgrass was the right person for this job. I needed someone who could understand our organization’s needs, the dynamics within our industry, and assess what skills our COO would need to complement me to the fullest,” said Todd Martin, Tennis Hall of Fame CEO. “Not only did Steve’s thorough approach deliver the ideal candidate in Stu, it allowed him to share some valuable organizational insights that were very helpful to me as the new CEO.”
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media