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Respected Industry Executive Wade Martin Named CEO of Harris and Blitzer’s Youth Baseball Portfolio

Industry: Sports

Martin to Drive Growth and Expansion for Youth Baseball Properties, Including Ripken Baseball®, Cooperstown All Star Village, and Baseball Factory™

Baltimore, MD (PRUnderground) February 15th, 2024

Wade Martin, an accomplished executive in the sports and lifestyle industries, has been named CEO of Josh Harris and David Blitzer’s youth baseball portfolio, which includes iconic brands such as Ripken Baseball®, Cooperstown All Star Village, Baseball Factory™, and Softball Factory™. Martin will drive growth and expansion for the company’s world-class youth sports facilities, youth tournament experiences, and player development platforms.

“I’m honored and humbled to join an organization that creates lifelong memories and experiences at incredible properties like The Ripken Experience® and Cooperstown All Star Village,” said Martin. “Rooted in the principles set forth by Cal Ripken, Jr. and Bill Ripken, Ripken Baseball® has become a beacon in youth sports, imparting life skills to young athletes for over two decades. Our goal is to broaden the reach and impact of these transformative sports experiences to a greater number of players and families.”

In January 2023, Harris and Blitzer, via their respective family offices, completed a strategic investment in Ripken Baseball® and merged the operation with Cooperstown All Star Village. Throughout 2023, they acquired Sports Force Parks™ at Cedar Point Sports Center in Ohio, and Baseball Factory™ and Softball Factory™. Ripken Baseball® also launched All-Ripken Games Powered by Under Armour in 2023.

By investing in youth baseball and softball, Harris and Blitzer aim to use the power of sports to inspire, educate, and uplift future generations. Martin and his team will leverage the fast-growing platform to increase access and create opportunities to welcome more players from all backgrounds.

Martin has extensive expertise in building successful businesses and brands, playing a pivotal role in leading renowned companies such as POWDR, Bouldering Project, Snowbird, Woodward, Copper Mountain, the Dew Tour, and the Gravity Games. Most recently, Martin served as the CEO of the Bouldering Project, one of the leading climbing gym operators in the country. In less than two years, Martin led the company out of the pandemic and expanded from five gyms to 11.

Prior to his tenure at the Bouldering Project, Martin co-led POWDR, an adventure lifestyle enterprise, overseeing its diverse portfolio, including ten mountain resorts, Woodward camps, and Outside TV. His earlier career highlights include founding the Dew Tour and Alli Sports.

Martin earned his B.S. from Michigan State University, where he captained the tennis team, and holds an M.S. in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Martin has been recognized by Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 and Brandweek’s Marketers of the Next Generation.

Ripken Baseball®, Cooperstown All Star Village, Baseball Factory, and Softball Factory bring teammates, coaches, and families together through their Big League Experiences while teaching athletes how to play the right way – The Ripken Way. The Ripken Baseball brand operates The Ripken Experience® Aberdeen Powered by Under Armour® (Maryland), The Ripken Experience® Myrtle Beach (South Carolina), The Ripken Experience® Pigeon Forge (Tennessee), The Ripken Experience® Elizabethtown (Kentucky), and Sports Force Parks™ at Cedar Point Sports Center (Ohio). It also runs the annual All-Ripken Games Powered by Under Armour.

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