DraftKings Inc has appointed baseball legend and entrepreneur Cal Ripken Jr as a special advisor to its board of directors, providing insights to the board and the CEO on key company initiatives such as company strategy, product development, and marketing activities. He will also become a DraftKings equity holder.
Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings, said: “Cal Ripken Jr embodies the qualities of perseverance and integrity we value so highly at DraftKings, and on behalf of the entire company I want to extend our warmest welcome to him as a special advisor.
“We are inspired not only by Cal’s historic playing days but also his current work to cultivate new generations of ballplayers. His unique combination of leadership, longevity, and business acumen ensures that we will receive invaluable strategic counsel.”
Ripken enjoyed a Hall of Fame Major League Baseball career and is one of only 10 players in history with more than 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. He has won a World Series championship, two AL MVP Awards, two AL All-Star Game MVP Awards, two Gold Gloves, made 19 All-Star Game appearances, and captured eight Silver Slugger Awards.
He is most well known for his incredible streak of 2,632 consecutive games played which made him baseball’s all-time “Iron Man”. Since retiring from MLB after the 2001 season he has transitioned into a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, and corporate speaker.
Just in time for the upcoming 2021 MLB Opening Day, Ripken will begin his new role in familiar territory as baseball represents one of DraftKings’ most popular sports across both daily fantasy and sports betting.
Ripken commented on his appointment: “The game I played for so many years has greatly benefited from technological advances, and I cannot say enough about DraftKings’ importance as a catalyst, innovator, and disruptor to enhance the game for modern baseball fans and others.
“I am honored to bring my experience to DraftKings through this special advisor position and become part of a company that is already essential for fan engagement while still only scratching the surface of its full potential.”
Ripken currently runs Ripken Baseball, a youth baseball business that operates four tournament and instruction destinations called ‘The Ripken Experience,’ located in his hometown of Aberdeen, MD; Myrtle Beach, SC; Pigeon Forge, TN; and Orlando, FL at Disney World.
He has written several best-selling books, is a sought-after public speaker, and he also serves as a sports diplomacy envoy for the US Department of State and in that capacity has made goodwill trips to China, Japan, Nicaragua, and the Czech Republic.
In 2001, the Ripken family established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to honor the family’s patriarch. Over the last two decades, the foundation has grown nationally and has impacted over 10 million kids in underserved communities.
Earlier this month, DraftKings named Jennifer Aguiar as its new Chief Compliance Officer, replacing Tim Dent.