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Cushman & Wakefield Launches Sports & Entertainment Advisory Group

Advisory Group will Serve Pro Teams, Municipalities, Venue Owners and College Athletics

CHICAGO – Cushman & Wakefield announced today the firm has established a new Sports & Entertainment Advisory Group to provide clients with the end-to-end solutions required to design, build, finance, operate and maximize their revenue streams for athletic and entertainment venues.

The new S&E Advisory Group expands on services the firm has provided for many years and includes key, strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Chicago-based sports and entertainment marketing firm W Partners. It will serve sports franchise owners, local governments/municipalities, private owners of entertainment venues and public and private universities, and provide advisory services on assets including arenas and stadiums; adjacent retail and entertainment complexes; amphitheaters and other performance venues; conference, expo and convention centers; motorsports tracks and facilities; and other event venues.

Chicago-based Executive Managing Directors Craig Cassell and Michael Sessa will lead Cushman & Wakefield’s S&E Advisory Group and be responsible for managing the firm’s overall strategic approach to S&E-related client services, which include sponsorship, branding and naming rights consulting; venue programming and phasing advisory; food and beverage consulting; public/private sponsorship structuring; revenue cost-model analysis; and commercial real estate services such as land acquisition, valuation and advisory, construction management, site selection, retail leasing, finance, sustainability and master planning.

“The sports & entertainment industry is changing rapidly, and the traditional revenue model has evolved and expanded,” said Cassell. “As a result, there is a tremendous need and opportunity to serve the sector and reinforce how the value of real estate is used to maximize and protect the value of the venue as well as drive additional revenue considerations.”

The strategic partnership with W Partners, led by CEO Wally Hayward and Vice President Sean Wallis, will provide sports and entertainment industry expertise to the practice. W Partners is a boutique agency that has been instrumental in helping sports and entertainment properties build strategic go-to-market corporate strategies to integrate partners into the overall fan/customer experience and secure over $600M+ in revenue for their partners.

“Building a model to ensure corporate partners are integrated fully into strategic development plans upfront is critical,” said Hayward, former Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer for the Chicago Cubs. “We’re excited to partner with Cushman & Wakefield to help property owners develop game-changing ideas to optimize their revenue for significant development projects, while enhancing the overall fan/customer experience and engagement on-site.”

Vice Chair Kazuko Morgan (San Francisco) will provide strategic direction for retail requirements for Cushman & Wakefield’s S&E Advisory Group. New York-based Director Enoch Lawrence will lead the capital markets strategy, while Director James O’Neil (Atlanta) will lead valuation and appraisal.

The new group also is bolstered by Cushman & Wakefield’s recent addition of Colicchio Consulting principals Phil Colicchio and Trip Schneck, which enables the S&E Advisory Group to guide clients in the strategic evaluation, selection and engagement of elevated food, beverage and entertainment options for projects ranging from food halls to signature restaurants and performance spaces.

“With our in-house resources and strategic partnerships, we are presenting the industry’s strongest and most complete offering in this dynamic S&E vertical,” said Sara Gougarty, Cushman & Wakefield Managing Director and Industry and Specialty Advisory Platform Lead, Americas. “We now have the breadth and depth to provide clients with full, turnkey solutions across the Americas.”

About Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 51,000 employees in 400 offices and 70 countries. In 2018, the firm had revenue of $8.2 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation and other services. To learn more, visit or follow @CushWake on Twitter.

About W Partners

W Partners is a premier sales and marketing agency representing best-in-class properties, brands and individual talent in the sports, entertainment and culinary industries. W Partners provide strategic consulting and partnership development services helping optimize revenue streams for partner properties and return on investment for brands. W Partners is a joint-venture with the Ricketts Family, launched in 2013, and has delivered over $600M in winning partnerships since inception.


Joshua Deale San Diego Communications Manager
Joshua Deale

Communications Manager • Costa Mesa

Mr. Deale leads strategic media relations and thought leadership efforts for the West Region markets, and oversees their online presence including managing article and social media efforts.

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