INDEPENDENT SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAUNCHES WITH INVESTMENT FROM RON BURKLE
HANK RATNER NAMED PRESIDENT AND CEO
Integrated Sports, Media, Entertainment and Management Company Will Provide Clients with an Unparalleled Suite of Services to Expand their Brands on a Global Scale
NEW YORK, June 20, 2016 – Independent Sports and Entertainment (ISE), an integrated sports, media, entertainment and management company, announced today the closing of an investment from Ron Burkle to launch and support next level growth as well as expansion for the business. The company will be led by newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer Hank Ratner.
ISE has retained top agents and clients from Relativity Sports to launch the sports management divisions of the company which will be headed by Mark Pieper & Fernando Cuza (ISE Baseball), Dan Fegan (ISE Basketball), and Roosevelt Barnes & Doug Hendrickson (ISE Football). These executives are among the most experienced and respected agents in the business and along with their teams have negotiated contracts totaling in excess of $2.5 billion in value for some of the top athletes in professional sports today. ISE has more than 300 MLB, NFL and NBA players under management, immediately making it one of the largest sports agencies in the world.
The company will provide an unmatched suite of services for clients, from superior playing contract negotiation capabilities to unparalleled marketing prospects and off the field support. ISE will secure marketing, business and endorsement opportunities across the film, television, fashion, live event, retail and hospitality industries to help clients expand their brands locally, nationally and globally. Mr. Ratner will also work with Mr. Burkle’s other businesses and investments to find opportunities for strategic partnerships with ISE’s clients.
“Independent Sports and Entertainment will include the best and the brightest talent in the industry representing some of the top names in sports,” Mr. Burkle said. “Hank is one of the most respected leaders in the business with a unique and broad portfolio of experience that perfectly positions him to transform ISE into a leading sports, media, entertainment and management company, providing the very best for our clients on and off the field.”
“I have great respect for Ron and am excited to partner with him, along with our first-class executive team in Mark, Fernando, Dan, Roosevelt and Doug, to build Independent Sports and Entertainment,” Mr. Ratner said. “I look forward to expanding upon our world-class sports management business, finding new strategic partnerships and investment opportunities to broaden our portfolio and help make ISE a global industry leader. We are focused on building a company that will create a platform for our clients to benefit through all stages of their careers.”
With the investment from Mr. Burkle, ISE is poised to aggressively look for expansion opportunities outside its core sports management business in the media and entertainment space through partnerships and acquisitions. In addition, the company will seek venture investment opportunities in sports and entertainment technology.
Mr. Burkle, founder of The Yucaipa Companies, will serve as chairman of the Board for ISE. Mr. Ratner will also take a seat on the board and an equity stake in the company. Investing alongside Mr. Burkle and sitting on the board is his friend and business associate Andrew Sasson. Mr. Sasson, known as an innovative entrepreneur, will bring his unique skills as a trendsetter in hospitality to the sports and entertainment world. ISE will be headquartered in New York City with additional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Indianapolis and San Francisco.
Mr. Ratner has more than three decades of experience in sports, media and entertainment. As president and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) he managed some of the world’s most iconic venues and brands. Mr. Ratner spearheaded the company’s strategic initiatives and acquisitions, including bringing multiple venues such as the Beacon Theatre and the Forum in Inglewood under MSG management during his tenure, and securing a ground-breaking marketing partnership with JPMorgan Chase as the company’s first-ever Marquee Partner. In addition, he oversaw the historic $1 billion Transformation of the iconic Madison Square Garden Arena and served as alternate governor to the NBA and NHL on behalf of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. At MSG, Mr. Ratner also managed the company’s media portfolio, including MSG Network and MSG Plus, two of the nation’s largest and most award-winning regional sports and entertainment networks, and national music network Fuse. In his position as vice chairman for Cablevision Systems Corporation he worked closely with the Cablevision executive team to help set corporate direction, and oversee major business partnerships and negotiations, and as chief operating officer of AMC Networks (formerly Rainbow Media) he led the executive management team directing the company’s portfolio of national and regional entertainment, news and sports networks. Mr. Ratner helped lead each of these companies through unprecedented periods of dynamic and enduring growth. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for MSG Networks, WinView Inc., and the Garden of Dreams Foundation.
Mr. Burkle founded The Yucaipa Companies in 1986 and is widely recognized as one of the preeminent investors in the retail, manufacturing and distribution industries. The Yucaipa Companies is a premier investment firm that has established a record of fostering economic value through the growth and responsible development of companies.
ABOUT INDEPENDENT SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Independent Sports & Entertainment (ISE) is an integrated sports, media, entertainment and management company that represents 300 of the best athletes in the NBA, NFL and MLB. As one of the largest sports agencies in the world, ISE provides each client with superior playing contract negotiation capabilities, as well as business, marketing and brand opportunities globally. With a full suite of services for the modern day athlete, the company’s expert team of executives and agents support talent through every stage of their career on and off the field. Headquartered in New York City, ISE also has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Indianapolis and San Francisco.
ABOUT THE YUCAIPA COMPANIES
The Yucaipa Companies is a premier investment firm that has established a record of fostering economic value through the growth and responsible development of companies. Founded in 1986 by Ron Burkle, the firm has completed mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $40 billion. As an investor, Yucaipa works with management to strategically reposition businesses and implement operational improvements, resulting in value creation for investors.
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