NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LionTree LLC (“LionTree”), a global investment and merchant bank focused on the technology, media and telecommunications (“TMT”) sectors, today announced that it has made a significant minority investment through its investing arm, LionTree Partners LLC, in Ripken Holdings LLC (“Ripken Baseball” or the “Company”), a youth sports education & entertainment company founded by Hall of Fame baseball player Cal Ripken, Jr., and his brother, former MLB player, Bill Ripken.
LionTree’s investment is driven by its positive view of marquee brands as multi-channel platforms and excitement around the future of youth sports education and live experiences. This investment is a continuation of LionTree’s expertise within the growth areas of sports including investments in theAthletic, Second Spectrum, and FuboTV as well as advising Gamechanger in its sale to Dick’s Sporting Goods and Drone Racing League on its Series B equity raise. As part of the transaction, Aryeh B. Bourkoff, Founder and CEO of LionTree, will join the Company’s Board of Directors.
Ripken Baseball is a leader within youth sports education and grows the game by hosting tournaments, camps, spring training events and player development programming. The Company operates three facilities, located in Aberdeen, Maryland; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Company also offers online streaming of tournaments and coaching content on its website, along with an ecommerce site that sells apparel and instructional materials.
LionTree’s investment will support several growth initiatives: 1) organic and inorganic expansion in the U.S.; 2) the launch of new digital products for youth athletes, parents and coaches to leverage its unique insights and content; and 3) other new technology products such as mobile apps leveraging content and data. In addition, LionTree will provide strategic advice and assist senior leadership in forging new relationships and partnerships with sports, media and technology companies.
“Cal Ripken Jr., a multi-generational sports icon, created this platform to share his experience and value system with the next generation of youth athletes, their families, and their coaches,” said Aryeh B. Bourkoff, Founder and CEO of LionTree. “Cal’s message of hard work equals success is timeless and can be applied to all facets of sports and life. We look forward to partnering with Cal and his team and leveraging our expertise to add multi-platform digital offerings such as analytics tools and mobile apps to educate young athletes for generations to come.”
“I am proud of the way we have been able to grow and expand all that Ripken Baseball does, and now with this investment and long-term partnership with LionTree we can accelerate the growth plans and enhance our digital presence to reach even more people who share our passion,” said Cal Ripken, Jr., President of Ripken Baseball. “We can do that much more with terrific partners, and we view LionTree as just such a partner. Having Aryeh Bourkoff join our board brings a level of experience and expertise to our team that is unmatched. Our team is very excited and optimistic about the future of our organization and all that we look to accomplish in the years ahead.”
About LionTree LLC
LionTree is a differentiated global investment and merchant banking firm focused on media, technology and telecommunications. Founded in 2012, LionTree works across offices in New York, San Francisco, London and Paris to serve clients on transactions around the globe. The Firm leverages its unique insights and relationships across its integrated product set: M&A Advisory, Capital Raising, IPO Advisory, Merchant Banking, Institutional Investor Membership (IIM) and LT Growth. Across these focus areas the firm connects clients with tailored ideas, actionable opportunities and resources that drive results. KindredCast, LionTree’s podcast series, features interviews with leaders in TMT and provides a look into the stories of executives who are among the most entrepreneurial of our time.
About Ripken Holdings LLC
The mission of Ripken Baseball is to inspire athletes through remarkable experiences, the Ripken Way. Ripken Baseball brings teammates, coaches and families together through on-site tournaments, camps and clinics hosted at its state-of-the-art baseball and softball facilities - The Ripken Experience Aberdeen Powered by Under Armour in Maryland, The Ripken Experience Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge in Tennessee. For more information, visit www.RipkenBaseball.com and follow @RipkenBaseball on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.