Sullivan, who has more than 25 years of experience negotiating NFL player contracts, joins the club after spending the previous 11 years as managing director of the football division for Octagon Worldwide. In that capacity, he helped grow Octagon into one the top sports representation and marketing firms in the nation.
With the Broncos, Sullivan will direct the club’s negotiating and structuring of all player contracts. He will be responsible for managing the Broncos’ football budget and salary cap as well as ensuring the club’s compliance with the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“With such an extensive background in NFL contract negotiations, Mike brings comprehensive experience and a proven track record of success in that very important area to the Broncos,” Elway said. “His in-depth knowledge of contract structure and the salary cap combined with his strong negotiation skills and far-reaching industry ties will be a great asset to our team.
“Mike also has a great understanding of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and is very familiar with all league operating procedures. We are thrilled to be able to add someone of his caliber to our organization and welcome him to the Denver Broncos.”
In 11 years leading Octagon’s football division, Sullivan became regarded as one of the top contract negotiators in the business. An NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor, attorney and Certified Public Accountant, Sullivan is credited with the creation of a variety of player contract terms, including the guaranteed salary/option bonus structure, which is now commonplace in high-value player contracts.
Known for his progressive approach and creativity in the formation of player contracts, Sullivan began his career as an attorney in the early 1980s working with Leigh Steinberg. In that capacity, he helped negotiate several of the highest-valued contracts in the history of professional football.
He started his own firm and later partnered with Jeff Sperbeck to form Sullivan & Sperbeck, which was acquired by Octagon in 2000.
An All-American prep quarterback from Walnut Creek, Calif., Sullivan earned a scholarship to the University of Oregon before transferring to Villanova University as a junior. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Villanova and went on to earn his law degree from the school.