Hank Ratner, the former vice chairman of Cablevision Systems, has been named president and CEO of Independent Sports and Entertainment (ISE), a New York-based firm that represents more than 300 of athletes in the NBA, NFL and MLB.
Ratner is also coming on board as ISE closed a $30 million investment from Ron Burkle through The Yucaipa Companies. Burkle has also been tapped to serve as chairman of the board for ISE.
ISE said the funding will be used to fuel growth and expansion, noting that it 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 & Fernando Cuza (ISE Baseball), Dan Fegan (ISE Basketball), and Roosevelt Barnes & Doug Hendrickson (ISE Football).
ISE, which plans to seek additional venture investment opportunities in the area of sports and entertainment technology, said its role is to secure marketing, business and endorsement opportunities across the film, television, fashion, live event, retail and hospitality industries for its clients.
Ratner joins ISE soon after Altice closed its acquisition of Cablevision. Ratner recently joined TiVo chairman Tom Rogers in a $3.4 million series A investment in WinView, which is developing a free mobile app that enables users to win cash prizes by making situational predictions during live TV sporting events. Ratner is also a former president and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company.
“Independent Sports and Entertainment will include the best and the brightest talent in the industry representing some of the top names in sports,” Burkle said, in a statement. “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.”
“I have great respect for Ron and am excited to partner with him, along with our first-class executive team in Mark, Fernando, Dan, Roosevelt and Doug, to build Independent Sports and Entertainment,” Ratner added. “I look forward to expanding upon our world-class sports management business, finding new strategic partnerships and investment opportunities to broaden our portfolio and help make ISE a global industry leader. We are focused on building a company that will create a platform for our clients to benefit through all stages of their careers.”
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