DraftKings has appointed Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and entrepreneur Cal Ripken Jr as a special advisor to its board of directors.
Ripken, the Baltimore Orioles icon and 19-time All-Star, will lend strategic insights to the board and chief executive Jason Robins on key company initiatives and will become a DraftKings equity holder.
Ripken, a successful businessman and philanthropist since his retirement from baseball in 2001, will be consulted on company strategy, product development and marketing activities.
“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,” said Robins.
“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 ensure that we will receive invaluable strategic counsel.”
Ripken – who holds an MLB record for consecutive games played – is one of only 10 players in MLB history with more than 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. He 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.
The 60-year-old runs Ripken Baseball, a youth baseball business that operates four tournament and instruction destinations. Ripken 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.
“The game I played for so many years has greatly benefitted 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,” said Ripken.
“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.”