Per a press release by the company, Independent Sports and Entertainment (ISE), an integrated sports, media, entertainment and management company has secured an investment from Ron Burkle to launch and support next level growth and expansion for the business. The company will be led by former President and CEO of Madison Square Garden Hank Ratner, where he will assume the same role.
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 and Fernando Cuza (ISE Baseball), Dan Fegan (ISE Basketball), and Roosevelt Barnes and Doug Hendrickson (ISE Football). These industry leading agents and their teams have negotiated contracts totaling more than $2.5 billion in value for some of today’s top professional athletes. With more than 300 MLB, NFL and NBA players, ISE is one of the largest sports agencies in the world.
“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.”
Mr. Burkle, the founder of The Yucaipa Companies and widely recognized as one of the preeminent investors in the retail, manufacturing and distribution industries, will serve as chairman of the Board for ISE. Mr. Ratner will also take a seat on the board and receive an equity stake in the company. With Burkle’s investment, ISE is poised to aggressively look for expansion opportunities to supplement its core sports management business in the media and entertainment space through partnerships and acquisitions. The company will also look for some of the best venture investment opportunities in sports and entertainment technology.