March 3, 2021 – Professional lacrosse team The Philadelphia Wings have selected TurnkeyZRG to lead its search for a new president. The team, which is owned by Comcast Spectator, competes in the 13-team National Lacrosse League (NLL). Reporting to the executive vice president / chief business officer, the president of The Philadelphia Wings will be responsible for oversight of all business and lacrosse operations for the organization, said TurnkeyZRG. Through hands-on leadership and strategic vision, the individual will be expected to develop and execute all aspects of the Wings’ business plan to ensure financial and operational efficiency while promoting and growing the sport throughout the region.
“This is a position that requires the ability to multi-task and an innate drive to lead the organization to success,” said the search firm. “The president will play an active role in the day-to-day business operations while partnering with the Comcast Spectacor management and departmental leaders to maximize operational efficiencies and other revenue generating opportunities. The president will lead strategy, planning, decision making and execution of all operations for The Philadelphia Wings.” This leadership role calls for both an entrepreneurial and strategic executive, with excellent interpersonal and leadership skills, capable of effectively managing a lean and agile team. The individual must possess excellent communication skills (written and verbal) to effectively foster collaboration with colleagues in “shared service” departments within the broader organization.
Face of the Organization
The president will serve as the day-to-day team representative for all NLL-related matters, including serving as an alternate governor, said TurnkeyZRG. This leader will also provide oversight guidance to an established and experienced lacrosse operations team, led by the team’s general manager and head coach, to ensure that resources are being delivered and maximized for the betterment of the organization.
The search firm said that the president will serve as the “face of the organization” within the Philadelphia lacrosse and business communities, regularly attending various functions to network and grow the profile of the team and the game in the region. Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in a related field; a secondary degree is preferred. Ten-plus years of experience in professional sports business, management of P&L a must for this role. A prior background in ticket or partnership sales is preferred.
A Team Player
Prospects must be internally motivated and have a competitive nature, said the search firm. He or she must be a respected and generous team player who works effectively as part of a high-performing and loyal leadership team. The ideal candidate will also be an excellent leader and motivator that leads with energy and enthusiasm.
Other qualifications needed for the role include an open, positive, and accessible style with the ability to act decisively yet diplomatically; demonstrated self-confidence, creativity, credibility, energy, flexibility, and drive; a determination to make a difference, with the desire to have personal impact and the ability to identify opportunities that will help drive organizational growth; and a track record of creating revenue opportunities which grow and evolve an organization.
The Philadelphia Wings is a founding member of the NLL, first beginning play in 1974. The club experienced a period of extraordinary success, having raised six championship banners prior to being relocated to Connecticut in 2014. The club experienced a rebirth in 2017 with the expansion purchase by Comcast Spectacor, bringing them home to Philadelphia and the Wells Fargo Center. Comcast Spectacor is part of Comcast Corp., a global media and technology company that operates Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast Spectacor owns and operates the Wells Fargo Center arena and complex, as well as a portfolio of professional sports teams that in addition to the Wings includes the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers, the Overwatch League’s Philadelphia Fusion, and the Maine Mariners of the ECHL.
A Blockbuster Acquisition
Earlier this year, search firm ZRG made a major move into the sports, entertainment and media sectors by acquiring Turnkey Search. Renamed TurnkeyZRG, all Turnkey staff and assets have now merged into ZRG and the firm continues to be led by Len Perna, the founder, chairman, and CEO of the sports recruiting franchise. Turnkey is adopting ZRG’s tech-enabled, data-driven approach to the search process which it says will give the newly merged firm a competitive edge in the hunt for sports, media and entertainment talent. Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG, called the deal a “blockbuster acquisition.”
Hunt Scanlon Ventures facilitated the introduction and transaction between ZRG and Turnkey, both perennial leaders in Hunt Scanlon’s rankings of executive search firms. “Len Perna built Turnkey into the most formidable sports recruiting brand in the nation,” said CEO Scott A. Scanlon. “This combination allows ZRG to deliver its ‘Moneyball’ approach to sports and entertainment, using a proprietary Z Score ‘scorecard’ to leverage data and analytics into better hiring decisions,” he said. “Unlocking hidden value in talent and skills makes this the ultimate Moneyball team. It is a game-changer in sports & entertainment recruiting,” Mr. Scanlon noted.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media