Leading Sports Industry Executives Launch NextUp Ventures & NextUp Partners

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Multi-Solution Consortium to Offer Advisory, Operating and Investment Services to Leading, Emerging and Startup Sports Companies

NextUp Ventures & NextUp Partners

To meet the demands of a sports world forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a cadre of leading sports industry executives today announced the launch of NextUp Ventures and NextUp Partners. This multi-solution consortium is designed to empower leading, emerging and startup sports companies to maximize their businesses amidst today’s dynamic landscape.

Led by one of the most diverse and accomplished leadership teams in sports, NextUp Ventures offers strategic capital investment, sweat equity and access to an unmatched angel network to fuel startups and emerging brands in the sports betting, esports and sports technology spaces. The principals have experience starting and scaling both venture-backed and public companies, raising capital and successfully executing commercial and corporate transactions and industry-defining strategic partnerships. The NextUp Ventures team works side-by-side with the entrepreneurs they invest in and utilizes their expansive network, expertise and experience to add outsized value to young, sports-centric companies.

An alternative solution to NextUp Ventures, NextUp Partners consists of veteran senior and mid-level professionals with a multitude of C-suite level relationships from across the industry and decades of proven success across sports leagues, teams, brands and creative agencies. NextUp Partners provides innovative sports-focused organizations with marketing services optimized for the 2020 climate and beyond. Solutions are customized to meet clients’ needs and include end-to-end strategy and execution as well as affordable fractional executives to help companies secure the resources, expertise and intellectual capital they need to grow quickly and efficiently. Core services include customer / fan acquisition and engagement, content strategy, creation and syndication, public relations, live events and experience for the new sports environment, sponsorship, monetization and new market penetration.

“The distinctive strengths of these entities will provide unparalleled value for sports organizations at any stage, from early startups to established brands and organizations,” said Joe Dupriest, co-founder NextUp Ventures and NextUp Partners. “Our mission and talent fully align with the sports industry’s current trajectory and can help sports brands at all stages get to that next level and beyond.”

“These are truly extraordinary times that present real-time challenges,” said Derrick Heggans of NextUp Partners. “As a result, the way companies evaluate, invest, strategize, activate and engage consultants and agency partners across the sports industry must evolve appropriately. Having been on the league, agency, athlete, digital network and brand sides, I saw an opportunity to deploy a unique model and join this differentiated and diverse network of some of the industry’s best talent. We look forward to leveraging our decades of senior-level, hands-on experience to help our client partners optimize and truly thrive in today’s ever-evolving landscape.”

NextUp Ventures is an early investor in StarStock, an innovative online stock market for sports cards and has also developed a partnership with Chalkline Sports, the world’s leading provider for scalable, personalized sports betting games. NextUp Partners is already working with Titan HST, an all-in-one platform for emergency communications, 2-level COVID-19 contact tracing, population density monitoring and asset tracking – all while offering stadiums and venues the ability to increase revenue generation and commercialization.

With an extensive and deep network of sports industry relationships along with unmatched strategy and activation experience, NextUp Partners is uniquely positioned to build a customized resource model – matching companies with the right team and resourcing model for the right problem for the right now to streamline decision-making and maximize profitability.

NextUp Partners has executives operating in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Denver, Charlotte and Tampa including:

  • Joe Dupriest – Former Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics; won 5 NCCB Emmy Awards
  • Jim DeMarco – Former Vice President of Marketing Measurement & Insights for William Hill, former Vice President of Customer & Marketplace Insights for FreshDirect, former Vice President of Research & Analytics for NBC News Digital / NBC Universal
  • Joe Flores – Former Executive Vice President and Head of Sports & Entertainment for MWWPR, former Senior Vice President for Catalyst / WME | IMG; PRWeek 40 Under 40
  • Derrick Heggans – Founder and CEO of Global Sports and Entertainment Business Academy, former Managing Director for the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, former General Manager for AOL Sports, former Associate Counsel for National Football League; SBJ 40 Under 40
  • Craig Heisner – Former President and Chief Revenue Officer for Newton Running Company, Former GM for Digital Li Ning, Former Vice President of Global Marketing and Product for Brooks Sports, former GM of Global Running for both Reebok and New Balance
  • Gerald Jones – Founder and CEO of 5G Sports & Entertainment, former Vice President of Business Development and Media for Minor League Baseball, former Senior Director of Global Partnerships for Feld Entertainment, former General Manager for Pitt/IMG Sports Marketing, former Manager of Corporate Partnerships for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Sabrina Jenkins – Founder and CEO of SJL 26 Productions, Atlanta Chapter President for Women in Sports and Events (WISE), former Vice President of Special Events for the Atlanta Braves; named one of Atlanta’s 100 Top Black Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League for the past 10 years
  • Scott Lewis – Former Vice President of Strategy and Analytics for the Baltimore Orioles, former Vice President of Marketing for DC United, former Senior Director of Consumer Marketing for the Washington Nationals, former Senior Manager of Team Marketing and Business Operations (TMBO) for the NBA
  • Rob Purvy – Co-Founder of the DTC Agency, former Product Director for Hoka One One, former Brand President for And1, former Director for VANS, former Basketball Business Unit Director for adidas, former Global Managing Director of Footwear Development for Reebok
  • Sarah Uhran – Owner and Founder of the APC Agency, Author of “The Athlete’s Playbook, Things to Know When you Go Pro,” former Director of Athlete Relations with Wayin, former Director of Business Development and Account Supervisor for Munn Rabot, former Account Executive for KraftWorks
  • Patrick Conreaux – Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director of SAGEWORX, former Senior Vice President of Creative for Next Marketing, former Vice President of Creative Solutions for 160over90 (formerly IMG LIVE)
  • Marc Calamia – Co-Founder and Executive Producer & Content Innovation Architect of SAGEWORX, former Senior Vice President of Production and Innovation for BBDO Atlanta, former Head of Content Studio and Executive Director of Production for R/GA and 360i in NYC
  • Kerry Graue – Former Director, Brand Communications - NYC Market for iHeartMedia, former Director Brand Marketing & Communications for Rogers & Cowan/PMK (A division of Octagon Sports & Entertainment), former Public Relations Manager for Prudential Center
  • TJ Lowden - Founder and Managing Member for KMH Group LLC, Consulting Partner to All In Sports & Entertainment and Lax Partners, LLC (National Lacrosse League expansion team), former Vice President of Finance and Accounting for SESAC, former Senior Manager for EY, former Assistant Controller for Washington Football Team
  • Paul Omps – CEO, KeyInsight Marketing a digital marketing agency helping SMBs, former Vice President, Marketing for Fransmart, former Director, Strategy & Brand Planning for RedPeg Marketing, former consultant for ProVentures

For more information, visit http://www.nextuppartners.com.

About NextUp Ventures
NextUp Ventures offers strategic capital investment, sweat equity and access to an unmatched angel network to fuel startups and emerging brands particularly in the sports betting, esports and sports technology spaces with key resources for growth and scale. The principals have experience running public companies, raising capital and executing M&A deals with successful outcomes. NextUp Ventures works side-by-side with the entrepreneurs they invest in and utilizes its expansive network, expertise and experience to add outsized value to young, sports-centric companies.

About NextUp Partners
Led by one of the most diverse and accomplished leadership teams in sports, NextUp Partners consists of veteran senior and mid-level professionals with decades of proven success across sports leagues, teams, brands and creative agencies and a multitude of C-suite level relationships from across the industry. NextUp Partners was formed to provide innovative sports-focused organizations with a broad range of efficient marketing service offerings optimized for the 2020 climate and beyond. Solutions are customized to the needs of the client and include end-to-end strategy and execution as well as affordable, fractional executives to help companies secure the resources, expertise and intellectual capital they need to grow quickly and efficiently. Core services include customer / fan acquisition and engagement, content strategy, creation and syndication, public relations, live events and experience for the new sports environment, sponsorship, monetization and new market penetration.

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Kerry Graue
@NextUpPartners
since: 05/2020
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