SweetSpot Expands Presence in Backyard Sports
● Guided by Industry Veterans Including Marucci Sports Co-Founder, SweetSpot
Unveils New Product Offerings Across a Variety of Sports
● Funding Round Led by Elysian Park Ventures, With Participation from
Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, Supports Company’s Growth Initiatives
BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SweetSpot, a backyard sports brand, today unveiled its rebrand and relaunch to increase its footprint across a variety of outdoor sports. SweetSpot’s new direction is spearheaded by a group of seasoned industry leaders – including SweetSpot CEO Joe Lawrence, Co-Founder of Marucci Sports – and features a fundraising round led by Elysian Park Ventures, the private investment arm affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group, with participation from Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.
Previously known for its recreational baseball and softball products, including a Major League Baseball licensed line, SweetSpot is expanding its reach to now feature an array of offerings for additional sports such as football, soccer, golf and pickleball, through both its online store and at several major retailers. By combining thoughtfully engineered products with the expertise of its leadership team and new capital from key investors, SweetSpot aims to create the perfect balance between practice and play to make sports and the outdoors more accessible, more affordable and more fun to play anytime, anywhere.
“In the fast-paced world we live in today, it’s easy to overlook the simple joys that make life truly meaningful,” says Joe Lawrence, CEO of SweetSpot and Co-Founder of Marucci Sports. “Growing up, my favorite memories were playing catch with my dad in the backyard— those moments of quality time and genuine connection are priceless. SweetSpot is on a mission to bring people together, to recreate those cherished moments that are often lost in the hustle of our competitive world.”’
Dave Soderquist, SweetSpot’s founder and a 40-year veteran in the global sporting goods industry, has brought together a market-leading executive team, including Lawrence, Stan Levy (Founder and CEO at award-winning marketing agency SASSO), Curtiz Cruz (former head of product engineering at Rawlings and Marucci Sports) and Blair Barbier (SweetSpot CFO and former LSU baseball standout).
The company’s newly formed Board of Directors also includes Mike Fonseca (a seasoned sports executive and former agent at IMG, CAA Sports and Excel Sports Management), Mike Shildt (San Diego Padres Manager) and Michael Fedele (former Head of Marketing at BodyArmor Sports Drink). Additionally, SweetSpot’s Advisory Board comprises eight professional and retired athletes including Jack Marucci, Co-Founder of Marucci Bats and director of performance and innovation at LSU. Together, they are dedicated to uniting families and communities through the joy of play.
“SweetSpot takes me back to growing up in San Diego when my friends and I would meet for a few games after school before the sun went down,” says Mike Fonseca, SweetSpot Board Member. “The best part of playing was that we didn’t need skill or professional equipment. We could just go outside and play. SweetSpot is committed to bringing that essence back and ensuring everyone remembers the pure, unadulterated fun of those backyard moments.”
“SweetSpot is a daily refresher,” says Mike Shildt, SweetSpot Board Member. “It is a celebration of the lighter side of life, reminding us all that play is essential, no matter where we are on our professional journey.”
As part of its relaunch, SweetSpot secured its lead investment from Elysian Park Ventures, an investment platform known for its commitment to supporting innovative companies across the youth sports ecosystem. Elysian Park leads a cap table of successful business leaders, professional athletes, and private investors, including Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.
“SweetSpot has demonstrated exceptional dedication to making high-quality products for outdoor play more accessible, affordable and enjoyable for kids, which is essential to the physical and social growth of the next generation,” says Jay Adya, Managing Partner at Elysian Park Ventures. “Elysian Park is proud to support SweetSpot as it continues to develop its product and engineering capabilities, thereby creating more opportunities for kids to enjoy the benefits of sports.”
SweetSpot’s new products and games are now available for purchase online at www.playsweetspot.com. Throughout 2024, SweetSpot’s products and games will be landing in several major U.S. retailers. Those interested in supporting the ongoing mission and development of SweetSpot are encouraged to follow @playsweetspot on all social media platforms for product highlights, ambassador partnerships, upcoming events and ultimate backyard fun.
Founded in 2019, and relaunched in January 2024, SweetSpot is growing the spirit of play in everyone. SweetSpot products make sports and outdoors more accessible, more affordable, and more fun to play anytime, anywhere. Backed by Elysian Park Ventures, and several professional and retired athletes, SweetSpot uses innovative technology and thoughtfully engineered products to make everyone feel like a champion. SweetSpot products are available to purchase online and in stores at select major retailers. For more information or to purchase SweetSpot products, please visit: www.playsweetspot.com.
Rebecca Wilbee, SASSO
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/bfa15baf-5409-428a-a047-f6bc9d93cc18
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