November 8, 2017 – Executive search firm Nolan Partners has expanded its U.S. operations with the addition of former sports agent Graham Boone as an associate in Los Angeles.
“Graham’s expertise in basketball operations, advanced scouting and player analytics, along with his reputation among NBA general managers, is of great complement to our growing North American practice,” said Paul Nolan, the firm’s founder and group managing director. Mr. Boone previously served as the director of basketball operations and a National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) player agent for Tandem Sports + Entertainment, where he worked on behalf of NBA stars like Tim Duncan, Jeremy Lin, Grant Hill, Ray Allen and Thaddeus Young, among others.
Prior to helping found Tandem Sports in 2013, he held similar positions at Williams & Connolly, in its sports representation practice.
After serving as a certified NBPA player agent, Mr. Boone accrued an extensive knowledge and network of major American sports leagues and franchise structures. Given his personal work with all leadership positions in the front office, high performance and corporate levels of professional teams and NCAA schools, he provides value in understanding the skills and personalities required to build a winning culture and on-court/on-field product.
Respected Among Peers
“Graham was part of my agent representation team and whether it was analytics reports or negotiations, he was always thorough and honest,” said Ray Allen, a retired NBA Player.
Mr. Boone brings eight years of experience working with all levels of team and league leadership. He will specialize in executing searches in general management, senior strategy, salary cap administration, senior legal counsel, sports science, talent identification/scouting, CEO, COO, CFO, CRO and CMO positions.
“I’ve known Graham for several years – he has always shown diligence and integrity in his work. He will be a great addition to Nolan Partners,” said Adrian Wojnarowski, senior NBA insider, ESPN.
“Graham was an invaluable partner in building our business for eight years,” said Jim Tanner, president of Tandem Sports + Entertainment. “He is an accomplished negotiator and client manager. I look forward to following his success at Nolan Partners.”
Shams Charania, NBA writer for Yahoo Sports, said Mr. Boone has been a friend and colleague for years. “His experience working with top NBA players and front offices makes him a perfect fit for Nolan Partners,” he said.
Sports Recruiting Finds Its Own Field of Dreams
Sports teams, from the professional level on down to college athletic programs, all now require a strong professional talent base. It’s not surprising that dozens of search firms compete hard for every plum assignment that surfaces.
Sports & Executive Search
Nolan Partners, founded in 2006, specializes sports and entertainment. The Nolan Partners’ team has conducted more than 500 senior executive placements across 25 sports, including basketball, baseball, rugby, soccer, American football, swimming, tennis, motorsports, horseracing, and cricket.
The firm works with clients that include world-renowned sports clubs, governing bodies, professional leagues, venues, broadcasters and major corporate organizations involved in sports. Their client portfolio includes Chicago Cubs, NBA, Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC, Toronto Blue Jays, the NFL, Rugby League International Federation, Mercedes Formula One, USTA, World Surf League, Breeders’ Cup, and Manchester United FC.
Given the search industry’s knack for finding a need and filling it, it was only natural that recruitment firms would soon step to the fore in the sports sector, which has become a growth area for executive search businesses. Many C-suite focused recruiting firms are now active in the sector and some specialize only in the sports field itself. These include, in addition to Nolan Partners: SRi, Turnkey, CarrSports Consulting, Korn Ferry, Harvard Group International, Prodigy Sports, Marquee Search, DHR International, Hartmann Mason, College Sports Solutions, Egon Zehnder, Heidrick & Struggles, Ascension Sports Partners, Russell Reynolds Associates, Diversified Search, Odgers Berndtson, Eastman & Beaudine, Alden Associates, Parker Executive Search, Neinas Sports Services and Collegiate Sports Associates.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media