September 19, 2017 – Freehold, NJ-based Prodigy Sports, a nationwide leader in top-level sports recruiting, has acquired Ascension Sports Partners, a boutique search firm led by veteran recruiter Dan Rossetti. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed. Mr Rossetti, who has led Ascension for nearly 10 years, will assume the role of president of Prodigy Sports.
“As Prodigy Sports celebrates our 10th anniversary in 2017, we’ve continually explored ways to bolster our business and broaden our reach within the recruiting industry,” said Scott Carmichael, Prodigy Sports’ founder and chief executive officer. “By acquiring Dan Rossetti’s Ascension Sports Partners firm and folding his successful boutique practice and deep client base into our growing agency, Prodigy Sports is poised to continue its aggressive growth and expanding market share even further. I could not be more thrilled to add the talents of Dan and his firm into an already extremely talented staff here at Prodigy.”
Mr. Rossetti said he was excited about joining his firm with Prodigy Sports. “They have continued to prove themselves as one of the leaders in executive search within our industry,” he said. “We share many of the same philosophies as it relates to taking care of clients as well as the candidate throughout the search process. I look forward to furthering the growth of Prodigy Sports into the future.”
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.
Mr. Rossetti’s operation will remain headquartered in Cincinnati. Some of Ascension’s clients who will now fall under Prodigy’s list of partners, include Professional Bull Riders, USTA, Bellator MMA, Planet Hollywood, ISC Motorsports, Speedway Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Circuit of the Americas, among others.
Mr. Rossetti has been involved in recruitment for nearly a decade. He said he founded Ascension Sports Partners with the belief that a candidate need not have a seat in the board room to receive executive-level treatment and career guidance. Last year, Mr. Rossetti created a spinoff website, www.ascend2thetop.com, which focuses on what he calls the A.S.C.E.N.D. System. The website offers tips and techniques for individuals seeking to break into the sports and entertainment industry. Prior to founding Ascension Sports Partners, Mr. Rossetti was senior vice president for the executive search arm of Turnkey Sports and Entertainment.
In conjunction with Ascension’s clients, Prodigy Sports has longstanding partnerships with iconic organizations, including On Location Experiences, AEG, the New York Yankees, TD Garden & Boston Bruins, PGA Tour, Engine Shop and SeatGeek. Within its e-sports recruiting division, Prodigy most recently completed a search for a director of esports for Monumental Sports & Entertainment and is soon to be engaged with other esports teams on executive search projects, the firm said.
An Expansive Field
Prodigy Sports, which has been involved with the sports & entertainment business for 60 years, is one of the sector’s leading boutiques. The firm has placed hundreds of candidates into a variety of functions and roles. It represents all disciplines, including senior management, sales, marketing, operations and administration.
The sports & entertainment field is one of the most rapidly growing sectors in executive search, with many C-suite-focused recruiting firms having been drawn to it. Some specialize only in sports, but all provide sports-related executive search and leadership advisory services. In addition to Prodigy and Ascension, the firms include: Turnkey, Nolan Partners, CarrSports Consulting, Korn Ferry, Harvard Group International, Marquee Search, DHR International, Hartmann Mason, College Sports Solutions, Egon Zehnder, Heidrick & Struggles, 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