Practices Make Perfect
As client demand for consulting help with
these challenges has grown, firms are giving
their sports consulting teams more structure.
Current sports practices tend to sit within traditional consumer consulting practices. In some
cases, sports practices may straddle media and
IBM operates a Sports and Entertainment
Practice. EY’s UK-based Sports Industry Group
has formally existed for several years. PwC operates sports industry practices in the U.S., U.K.
and Switzerland. BCG’s sports practice functions
as a joint endeavor between the firm’s consumer
practice and its media & entertainment practice.
Deloitte has a sports practice in the UK. In the
U.S., Deloitte’s sports consultants operate within the firm’s consumer products practice while
working closely with the firm’s media practice.
Some of the Big 4 firms initially developed
relationships with sports clients through tax and
audit services and then later started providing
transaction support and advisory services (to
non-auditing clients) as those needs cropped up
more frequently. “We’ve done work in the space
probably for two decades,” says BCG’s Sajdeh,
who recalls that his first sustained work with
sports-industry clients began in 2008. Since that
time, the frequency and volume of sports-related
consulting work has increased steadily, he says.
“In the past couple of years, we’ve seen a much
more consistent flow of activity in the space.”
Sports consultants feel strongly that the flow
of client work will continue to increase as the industry’s maturation surges. “It’s happening,” asserts Rangel. “It’s definitely a real business.”
A Former McKinsey consultant,
Jeff Lunhow is now GM with
the Houston Astros.