September 22, 2021 – TurnkeyZRG recently assisted WME Sports in the recruitment of former Texas Rangers executive Joe Januszewski as senior vice president and leader its global property solutions business, which delivers naming rights deals, premium hospitality offerings and suite sales for global sports teams, leagues and organizations. Endeavor Group Holdings (also known as Endeavor Content for films and formerly known as William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, WME or WME-IMG) is an American holding company for talent and media agencies with its primary offices in Beverly Hills, CA.
“Endeavor derives from the original William Morris Agency in 1898; Charlie Chaplin was a client,” said Len Perna, chairman and CEO of TurnkeyZRG. “They’re the world’s biggest and best talent agency. They represent the most famous and successful actors, directors, writers, fashion models, athletes, and coaches. And they decided they wanted to launch a new division to represent sports properties like teams, leagues, events, and venues. So, they asked for our help to identify and recruit the head of that new division.”
“WME Sports is the Endeavor subsidiary we worked with to conduct this international search,” said Mr. Perna. TurnkeyZRG interviewed hundreds of top sports executives across the globe and worked closely with EVP Karen Brodkin and their president Mark Shapiro to narrow the prospect list, eventually choosing Mr. Januszewski. “Joe had recently led all the commercial business operations for the Texas Rangers who just opened a gorgeous and highly successful ballpark, Globe Life Field,” said Mr. Perna.
Mr. Januszewski most recently served as executive vice president, chief revenue and marketing officer for the Texas Rangers. In that capacity, he was key to developing the Major League Baseball team’s new $1.2 billion retractable-roof ballpark, Globe Life Field, and an adjoining entertainment district. Earlier, Mr. Januszewski held executive roles at the Boston Red Sox/Fenway Sports Group and the San Diego Padres as he developed new team revenue streams for those teams.
“Joe is a strategic executive uniquely capable of delivering bespoke solutions on a global scale,” said Ms. Brodkin, co-head of WME Sports and executive vice president of content strategy and development at Endeavor. “He and his team will collaborate closely with Endeavor Analytics, On Location, 160over90, IMG’s media and events business and WME more broadly to bring the full power of the Endeavor network to bear for our clients as we continue to invest in becoming the industry standard for property representation,” she said.
There is tremendous opportunity both domestically and globally in the professional sports space, Mr. Januszewski said. “I am looking forward to diving into the market head-first and helping WME Sports to grow and win,” he said. “I cannot wait to get started.”
WME Sports has worked with teams including the Denver Broncos, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Atlanta Hawks on premium asset sales.
Founded in 1996, TurnkeyZRG is a specialized talent recruitment/executive search firm filling C-level, senior-level and mid-management-level positions throughout sports, entertainment, and media. Over the past 25 years, the firm has filled more than 1,400 positions throughout sports, entertainment and media. TurnkeyZRG helps teams, leagues, stadiums, arenas, theaters, college athletic departments, events, sponsors, agencies, media companies, private equity companies and other clients identify, recruit, and hire the best management talent.
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. 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 and 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