Welcome to Sportico’s Transaction cable, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry
Excel Hires Four, Including First Head of Content
Excel Sports Management has been added Ryan Holcomb is the agency’s first head of content. Holcomb will join the agency’s media division to create and develop original content and programming. Holcomb joins Excel from the World Surf League, where he was executive vice president of WSL Studios and led the league’s content division developing programs, selling concepts and executing branded content efforts. Nick Baratta also joined a content creation role, as a senior graphic designer, after coming over from FanDuel. On the basketball side, Nik Jayaram came onboard as director of basketball partnerships, sales after working at FaZe, and Matt Kelly step in as an agent, coach and executive, basketball. He was previously an attorney at Kelly Law Group.
Legend designates VP of Project Development
Legend has been designated John Nicholson as VP of project development, Legends International. Nicholson has more than 30 years’ experience in development and project management, and he will be based in Legend’s London office, initially focusing on building the company’s Global Planning business in the region. Prior to joining Legends International, Nicholson was director of operations at Mace North America, an international construction and consulting company. Nicholson’s experience includes the London 2012 Summer Olympics where he managed the development of the Athletes Village, Aquatic Center and International Broadcast Centre. He received an OBE for his contribution to the Games. In addition, he served as project manager for the stadium, hotel and housing developments for Chelsea FC in Chelsea Village, London.
Grand Prix Miami named President
The Formula One Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix has been named Tyler Epp the president. Epp previously served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of global events and has more than 20 years of senior management experience in a variety of sports. Richard Cregan, the driving force behind the inaugural event, will move into a consulting role. Epp joins South Florida Motorsports after eight successful years at the Kansas City Chiefs. He has also served as general manager of Hall of Fame Racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and Sports Management Network, a motor sports representative and consulting firm. He also spent five years with Chip Ganassi Racing, serving as the team’s director of operations and business development.
INFLCR Expands into New NIL Market With New Partnerships
A new deal between INFLCR and several marketplace solutions provides college athletes with access to hundreds of brands and thousands of individual NIL opportunities in one centralized location. MarketPryce, Nocap Sports, Mogl and Embassy will use the INFLCR Global Exchange to be able to bid directly on the INFLCR app. Similar to INFLCR’s Local Exchange, where local businesses communicate with athletes from specific institutions and offer NIL opportunities, the marketplace will bring national brands to athletes through a diverse sales team with unique expertise and services. Each new partner will use the Newsletter to provide direct bidding and value to college athletes on the INFLCR application. These features allow athletes to review and accept offers, review and sign contracts, and receive payments.
Big Ten Starts Partnership Division, Hires Leader
The Big Ten Conference and Big Ten Network have created Big Ten Corporate Partnerships, teams dedicated to leading league-level corporate sponsorships and partner activations. Industry veteran Tyler Cooper has been tapped to lead the new business as vice president of sponsorships. BTCP will offer strategic corporate sponsorships, partnership activations, television and digital media inventory and creative advertising opportunities related to league-level events and VIP fan experiences during conference championships and tournaments. Kupper previously served as chief revenue officer for Weatherman Umbrella and director of sports marketing for USA Today Sports Media Group. BTCP’s assets will include influential linear and digital media inventory, on-site promotional activations, on-site signage, official mentions, and corporate hospitality.