Talent agency founded by former cricketer Neil Fairbrother sold to global firm

Cricketer Ben Stokes

Global marketing agency CSM Sport & Entertainment has snapped up English cricket talent management business founded by former professional cricketer Neil Fairbrother.

Established in 2018 Cheshire-based Phoenix Management Group manages some of the biggest names in English cricket including Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Stuart Broad, Liam Livingstone, Nat Sciver and current Men’s Test captain, Ben Stokes.

Phoenix also looks after several ex-players and media personalities including Isa Guha, David Lloyd and Michael Vaughan.

The acquisition by CSM will further bolsters the agency’s talent offering and will see Phoenix’s players and personalities joining the firm’s existing cricket clients, which include Jonny Bairstow, Ollie Pope, Reece Topley and Matthew Potts.

Neil Fairbrother, Founder of Phoenix Management Group commented: “Everyone here at Phoenix is excited by the prospect of working closely with CSM. As an established global agency, operating across the full spectrum of sport and entertainment, we feel they can help elevate our business to a new level.

“Seneca worked diligently with the Phoenix team throughout this transaction. The team’s experience added a valuable perspective during negotiations, with clear advice at all stages of the process. The team demonstrated a strong understanding of our business and industry, ultimately delivering an excellent result for all parties involved.”

Matt Vandrau, Group CEO at CSM said: “Having played cricket with and against Neil in the 90’s, I know first-hand how driven and committed he is.

“It’s little surprise he went on to build such a successful talent management agency.

“Neil’s expertise, coupled with our own experience in this space, positions us collectively as the undisputed market leaders within English cricket both commercially and from a talent management perspective. We look forward to working with Neil and his team.”

The shareholders of Phoenix Management Group were advised by Christian Hitchen and Gordon Lane of Seneca Corporate Finance, Laytons LLP and Claritas Tax Limited.