Turn2 Equity Partners has invested in e-commerce platform Athletes Brand and apparel maker POINT3 as it grows its Playrs division.
Co-founded by Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker last year, Turn2 launched with a focus on the pro and amateur baseball communities, investing across consumer, media, tech and event verticals with the goal of having athletes become stakeholders rather than just endorsers. Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward was announced as the company’s first such athlete-investor in August.
In September, Turn2 unveiled Playrs, which is aimed directly at amateur athletes and now goes beyond baseball. It plans to mix training resources with events and merchandise, bolstered by connections to pros, and is actively raising more than $25 million for further investments.
POINT3 has sold gear to more than 250,000 athletes over 10 years, with towel-like materials built into clothes. “The connectivity POINT3 has… servicing AAU teams gives us our claws into the amateur basketball market,” Turn2 co-founder Peter Stein said in an interview. “We’re looking forward to creating a one-stop shop that provides amateur athletes resources to improve performance, gain exposure and access to the pros.”
“We’ve seen the strategy, the technology and the team that Playrs has built around baseball, and we are excited to lead their extension into basketball,” POINT3 founder and CEO Michael Luscher said in a statement. “Amateur basketball is in the midst of generational transformation.”
Athletes Brand supports athletes’ online ecommerce and philanthropic efforts. Athletes Brand founder Kyle Mauch has joined Turn2 as EVP of Playrs, where he’ll be expected to develop and leverage relationships with pros across sports.
Financial terms of the deals have not been announced, but Turn2 co-founder Stein said the investments are for minority stakes, with pathways to control. “The thing we’re prepared to do here is bridge amateur players with pros in an authentic way,” Turn2 cofounder Jarett Sims said, “in ways that we’ll be uncovering later this year and into 2022.”