SBJ/Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2013/Labor and Agents

Lagardère starts endurance division

Lagardère Unlimited has launched a division to represent triathletes and other endurance sports athletes and has hired Tim McNulty, a former golf agent and Nike marketing executive, to run it.

McNulty, who joined the company in July, was hired as director of North American endurance sports. He is working out of Boulder, Colo., and reports to Steve Loy, president of Lagardère Unlimited Golf.

Since the launch, the new division has signed triathletes Damon Barnett, Dede Griesbauer, Rebekah Keat, Mandy McLane and Amanda Stevens, as well as coach Siri Lindley, who has trained world champion triathletes as well as the only American to medal in the Olympics in the triathlon, Susan Williams. Keat and Stevens, who are both coached by Lindley, are scheduled to compete in the Kona Ironman World Championship next month.

Lagardère Unlimited, a division of Paris-based Lagardère Group, operates the ITU World Triathlon events in Chicago, London and Hamburg but has not represented triathletes until now.

McNulty is returning to work for Loy, who founded Gaylord Sports Management, an athlete representation firm that was acquired by Lagardère Unlimited last year. McNulty worked at Gaylord from 2000 to 2007 and represented more than a dozen golfers when he was there, including Rich Beem and Grace Park. In 2007, McNulty was hired by Nike Golf as a global sports marketing manager. He proceeded to work with golfers including Michelle Wie.

McNulty left Nike in December and moved with his wife to Boulder, Colo., which is home to many top triathletes, who choose to live and train there because of its weather and altitude.

Unlike top golfers, many triathletes are not represented by experienced agents, McNulty said. “What is crazy about this space is it is so immature,” he said. “It’s like what golf was like in 1975 or 1980. It is not a very developed space, and a lot of managers are former athletes who know a lot about the sport but don’t have the business experience or acumen to deliver value to their clients.”
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