As a special adviser to the board of directors, DraftKings Inc has hired baseball star and founder Cal Ripken Jr, offering insights to the board and the CEO on core organisation strategies such as corporate planning, product growth, and marketing operations. He will become an ownership investor in DraftKings as well.
Perseverance and integrity
Jason Robins, DraftKings’ CEO and Co-Founder, 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 had a Hall of Fame Major League Baseball career and, with more than 3,000 hits and 400 home runs, is one of only 10 players in history. He won a championship in the World Series, two AL MVP Awards, two AL All-Star Game MVP Awards, two Gold Gloves, 19 All-Star Game appearances and eight Silver Slugger Awards.
He is best remembered for his remarkable string of 2,632 straight games that made him the “Iron Man” of all-time baseball. He has grown into a prosperous entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, and corporate speaker since retiring from MLB after the 2001 season.
Forthcoming 2021 MLB Opening Day
Ripken will launch his new job in familiar territories just in time for the forthcoming 2021 MLB Opening Day, since baseball is one of the most popular games in both daily fantasy and sports betting by DraftKings.
On his nomination, Ripken commented: “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 honoured 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.”
In his hometown of Aberdeen, MD; Myrtle Beach, SC; Pigeon Forge, TN; and Orlando, FL at Disney World, Ripken currently runs Ripken Baseball, a youth baseball organisation that manages four tournament and instruction destinations dubbed ‘The Ripken Experience.’
He has written many best-selling books, is a sought-after public speaker, and also serves as the US State Department’s sports diplomacy ambassador and has made goodwill trips to China, Japan, Nicaragua and the Czech Republic in that capacity.
The Ripken family founded the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in 2001 to honour the patriarch of the family. The foundation has evolved globally over the past two decades and has reached over 10 million children in underserved neighbourhoods.
Jennifer Aguiar was appointed by DraftKings earlier this month as the current Chief Compliance Officer, replacing Tim Dent.