Nick Lord ’20: Using Competitive Drive in Business

Recent graduates Nick Lord and Danny Duffey start a business

Nick Lord ’20 competed on the Gettysburg College men’s basketball team for four years. While his time of wearing the orange and blue is over, his competitive drive has continued in the business world.

Following graduation last May, Lord started a new business called NOCAP Sports alongside classmate and teammate Danny Duffey ’20. The idea for this business started in the spring of 2020 when Lord had a conversation with head men’s basketball coach B.J. Dunne.

“Coach Dunne and I always had a different kind of connection,” said Lord. “He understood my passion for wanting to create different things, so we always ran ideas by each other. When we thought of what originally started as a recruiting app morphed itself into an entire platform.”   

Since that conversation in the spring, the vision of the business has taken a massive pivot, moving from a recruiting-based structure to a business-like model focused on assisting intercollegiate student-athletes with an ever-changing financial landscape.

While student-athletes on the NCAA level are not allowed to receive compensation for endorsements and promotions, that could all change when the Board of Governors vote on a new proposal in January 2021. If the vote goes through, NOCAP Sports would create a platform that connects student-athletes with different business opportunities, allowing them to make money off their image and likeness.  

While there continues to be moving pieces when it comes to staffing, Lord currently has five senior team members, seven to eight advisors, and 20-30 people total on staff. Duffey has since moved on to other pursuits, but other members of Gettysburg’s men’s basketball team continue to play key roles in Lord’s startup. Serving as one of the staff members is 2019 graduate and former teammate Matt Palacio, who is the Manager of Business Development. There are also two parents of current players on the advisory board – Tim Pernetti, Max Pernetti’s father, and Doug Butdorf, Solomon Neuhaus’ father.

As far as Lord’s role, he does pretty much anything that needs to be accomplished.

“I would say the main thing I do right now is a lot of legal paperwork because I’m trying to incorporate our business, but mostly being in a shark tank, pitching to people every single day and networking. I’ve learned more in the past two months than I think I have in my entire life, which is awesome.”

When looking back at what he learned at Gettysburg, he credits both the classroom as an economics major and business minor and as a student-athlete on the court.

“I would say the way Gettysburg helped me think the way I do, kind of this entrepreneurial, innovative way,” noted Lord. “Being able to handle rejection and to stand back up and then pursue something else. I think the connections that I made at Gettysburg, the people I have met have been pushing me along the way, and that’s helped me get to where I am now.

“Playing basketball is competitive, and what I’m doing right now is extremely competitive. I’m competing every day against different companies and different people, which is cool to keep that kind of competitive fire with you after you graduate and play.”

Over four years on the hardwood, Lord tallied 644 points, 213 rebounds, 58 assists, and 35 steals and ranks seventh in program history in three-point field goals made (129) and ninth in three-point field goals attempted in 90 career games.

Choosing a career in the business sector was always something that Lord knew he would do. He just wasn’t sure what area until this past spring.

“I have always wanted to find something that I was passionate about and see if I can turn it into a career. I had a business during my freshman year when I didn’t know anything. It has taken a while to get to this point, but I love sports and feel I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

Running your own business takes dedication, work, and energy. While it has been a lot to learn, Lord has enjoyed it all and shares the biggest lesson he has learned since starting this new venture.   

“You can’t do it by yourself, you need to ask for help,” said Lord. “You need to surround yourself with the right people and never lose sight of that vision that you had from the beginning.”
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This story was originally posted on the Gettysburg College Website.

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