Meet the newest co-owners of the Major League Pickleball club led by 35V and Boardroom’s Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman.
Major League Pickleball’s Brooklyn Aces announced a new group of investors Thursday including global superstar, OVO Sound owner and five-time Grammy-winning rapper Drake, actor and entrepreneur Michael B. Jordan, and UnitedMasters and Translation founder/CEO Steve Stoute.
The Aces’ new investor group also includes CityPickle co-founders Mary Cannon and Erica Desai; LionTree Chairman and CEO Aryeh Bourkoff and Managing Director Alex Michael; Baby2Baby Co-CEO Kelly Sawyer Patricof; producer and Hunting Lane founder Jamie Patricof; Status Labs CEO Darius Fisher and CMO Jesse Boskoff, Winible.com CEO Noah Traisman, and Dynamic DNA Labs founder and CEO Austin O’Reilly.
“We’re thrilled to have this incredible group of investors join the Brooklyn Aces as we continue to grow the team and raise the profile of Major League Pickleball as a whole,” Boardroom and 35V co-founder/CEO and Aces majority owner Rich Kleiman said. “It’s the idea of bringing people in that we could share in this with and utilize resources as the Aces evolve. Our investor group includes some of the savviest entrepreneurs in the business, and having this network on our cap table positions us to be successful.”
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This new group of co-owners, Kleiman said, is a mix of good friends and individuals 35V admired and wanted to work with on a deeper level. In the case of Drake, he and Kevin Durant are close friends and Kleiman is close with Drake’s manager, Adel “Future the Prince” Nur. The timing worked out for the Aces, and Kleiman is hopeful the business relationship can grow further from here.
“Just having their ear and their support is really incredible,” Kleiman said.
Kleiman said he loves doing business with Jordan’s team, furthering a relationship with a savvy entrepreneur clearly interested in the sports space; today’s news comes on the heels of the actor’s recent investments in the Alpine Formula 1 team and English soccer’s AFC Bournemouth. Additionally, both Jordan and 35V are stakeholders in New York City-based esports organization NYXL.
As for the rest of the ownership group’s new members, each aligned with 35V at the perfect time to capitalize on the booming growth of pickleball as a sport and MLP as a league, bringing business knowledge, excitement, and curiosity to the table.
With these latest equity partners positioned as influential leaders across the worlds of sports, business, and entertainment, the Brooklyn Aces will further their commitment to engaging with the pickleball community, growing the team’s brand presence, and elevating Aces athletes heading into the second half of the MLP season. As part of the new ownership’s commitment to fostering community in New York City and beyond, the Aces will host their first youth-focused community event – Aces Day of Play – on Thursday, Aug. 3 at the CityPickle courts in Manhattan’s Union Square.
In partnership with PowerPlay NYC – a nonprofit organization with the mission of advancing the lives of girls through sport – the organizations will bring the growing sport to an underserved community while promoting active, healthy lifestyles.
Last week at CityPickle’s courts at Central Park’s Wollman Rink, the Aces drafted world No. 2 ranked women’s player Catherine Parenteau, MLP Daytona runner-up Andrea Koop, 17-year-old phenom Hayden Patriquin, and two-time MLP champion Tyler Loong for the team’s Premier Division tournaments beginning Sept. 21-24 in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. Samin Odhwani will assume the role of General Manager for a second season.
To help ring in the Aces’ jump into the Premier Division, the team unveiled a new logo with the Brooklyn Bridge and New York City skyline front and center inside an MLP ball, incorporating a lighter shade of blue and gray to go with an iconic black and white color scheme.
“A new logo is just one way we continue to evolve,” Kleiman said. “As you build a brand and a community, you always look for things you can differentiate with. I don’t think there’s anything better than having the opportunity to start something that connects with people and seeing how it can grow.”
A new line of merch including hats and t-shirts featuring the Aces’ new logo is now available for pre-order on Shopify while supplies last. Click here to learn more and order yours today.
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