Harvard Group International (HGI) Attracts Rene Valencia for Newly Created Role with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

PHOENIX, AZ, July 15, 2016 — Harvard Group International, a mid-size full service retained executive search firm, has attracted international sports executive Rene Valencia to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to assume a newly created role as Vice President of International Marketing Partnerships.

  • HGI conducted a global search to attract a leading figure in international sports marketing
  • Valencia is a 15 year veteran of global sports marketing
  • Sports entities need to look outside the U.S. to attract international marketing talent

Rene Valencia brings more than 15 years of global partnerships experience from the NBA, Dentsu, Doha Asian Games Organizing Committee, and the Australian sports industry. Most recently, Rene was VP and Global Head of Sponsorship with MP & Silva, where he represented properties such as Inter Milan, Formula E, Major League Baseball, and the Washington Capitals. Rene, an native of Australia, was hired from a comprehensive global search that included candidates from five continents and the top sports leagues and businesses in the world.

In his new role, Valencia will lead business development efforts outside of US and Canada.  He is responsible for driving commercial partnerships through digital media, broadcast, and major events. He will manage UFC’s international agency network and partner with UFC’s international offices in South America, Asia, and Europe to build revenue.

“The sports industry is incredibly global, and it becomes more global every day” says Jeff McMahon, Managing Partner of Harvard Group International, adding “most sports executives, particularly in the United States, have limited international experience or a track record with international marketing. This search is another example where Harvard Group International went outside the US market to identify top talent, since the large majority of those with global experience reside outside the United States. As the industry continues to evolve, it is critical for sports executives to gain international experience to keep up with industry demands.”

Harvard Group International’s Sports, Leisure, and Entertainment practice is led by Chuck Cain. Within the past year, the HGI SL&E team has completed searches with Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Oakland Raiders, Teneo, and Sports Endeavors. This is the third search project Harvard Group International has completed with the UFC.

For further information on Harvard Group International, please contact Managing Director Chuck Cain ( or Michelle McMahon (

About Harvard Group International

Harvard Group International is a performance-driven Executive Search firm that partners with clients to identify, evaluate and bring forward Best-in-Class individuals who directly and immediately contribute tangible improvements to the business. The Firm has completed thousands of retained searches for clients, both domestic and international, in all functions and at all management levels, from individual contributors and managers to CEO’s and boards of directors, across more than 35 industries. The Firm’s success is based on completing searches with a 100% success guarantee, presenting candidates within a 30-day timeframe, operating one of the country’s leading diversity practices, and specifically dealing with only the top 2% of best-in-class performers in each corporate function. To learn more, please visit our website:

Michelle McMahon
Managing Director

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