Nolan Partners


Nolan Partners is the world’s leading and largest retained executive search firm with a dedicated focus on sports and entertainment.  Since our founding in 2006, Nolan Partners has placed over 500 executives across 6 continents.

We work on a global basis with clients that range from world famous sporting clubs, governing bodies, professional leagues, venues, agencies, universities, broadcasters, and the major corporate organizations involved in sport. 

Our Business practice specializes in recruiting senior leaders such as chairpersons, chief executives, the wider c-suite, and vice presidents. 

Our Performance practice acquires specialist technical/performance talent such as General Managers, Technical and Sporting Directors, talent identification and scouting specialists, sports medicine, and science specialists.

We have a proven track record of not only identifying talent from within the industry but also of bringing talent from the wider commercial world into senior business roles in sport and related industries.

Our client portfolio includes English Premier League, Manchester United FC, Liverpool FC, beIN, Chicago Cubs, NBA, NFL, Rugby League International Federation, Wimbledon, Mercedes Formula One, Breeder’s Cup, Yokohama F. Marinos, and the British Olympic Association.


Nolan Partners Leading CEO Search for USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon (USAT), the national governing body for the sport of triathlon, has enlisted executive search firm Nolan Partners to help find its next chief executive officer. Chad Biagini, managing director of North America for the recruiters, is leading the assignment. USAT is looking for a strong business leader with a proven background of driving engagement, affinity

Nolan Partners Drafts CEO for British Swimming

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games on the horizon, executive search firm Nolan Partners has assisted British Swimming in the placement of Jack Buckner as chief executive officer. He succeeds David Sparkes, who retired after 23 years with the organizations. Partner Andy Taylor led the search. Mr. Buckner, who is currently CEO of

Nolan Partners Leading GM Search for San Jose Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes has hired Nolan Partners, a leading sports dedicated search firm, to help identify the club’s next general manager. Technical director Chris Leitch is currently serving as the Quakes’ interim general manager. In late August, the Earthquakes announced that they had terminated long-serving GM John Doyle after the team made the playoffs only

Recruiters Offer Sports Clients an Expanding Talent Platform

The relationship between sports teams and executive search firms is rapidly expanding and now extends beyond merely recruiting. Seasoned recruiters are providing strategic planning advice with the capability of applying their findings to speed along the process in the hunt for talent. Today, executive search firms are being called in by professional sports teams, colleges, and consumer

Nolan Partners Places Operating Chief at International Tennis Federation

Executive search firm Nolan Partners has tapped Kelly Fairweather as chief operating officer of the International Tennis Federation. Longtime ITF COO Juan Margets announced in March that he would be leaving the organization at the end of 2016. The international search, led by managing director Paul Nolan and partner Andy Taylor, assessed an extensive range


Earthquakes Hire Roma’s Jesse Fioranelli as New General Manager

LONDON, UK, January 5, 2017 — The San Jose Earthquakes have named Jesse Fioranelli, a member of the sporting direction unit at Italian side AS Roma, as their new general manager, the club announced today. Fioranelli had previously worked for several top-flight clubs in Europe. At Roma, his duties included scouting, match analysis, player development, and recruiting. In

Kelly Fairweather Appointed ITF Chief Operating Officer

LONDON, UK, September 26, 2016 — ITF President David Haggerty has announced that Kelly Fairweather will become ITF Chief Operating Officer effective 1 January 2017. Fairweather is currently Chief Executive Officer of the International Hockey Federation, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. “The ITF is excited to have Kelly join us in the role of Chief Operating Officer,” said Haggerty. “Kelly’s extensive

Nolan Partners Opens US offices

LONDON, UK, June 17, 2016 — Nolan Partners has announced the opening of its operation in North America with offices in Los Angeles and New York and the appointment, with immediate effect, of Chad Biagini as managing director of Nolan Partners North America. Chad brings over 10 years’ experience in executive search representing a range of sports clients