Lenexa, KS and New York City, NY, May 1, 2019 ‐ Private equity firm Granite Bridge Partners LLC (“Granite Bridge”) announced today that veteran sports agency, media and private equity executive Chris Lencheski has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of its sports licensing and marketing portfolio company, Winning Streak Sports, LLC. Headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, Winning Streak Sports is a leading provider of licensed premium hard goods products in professional sports and entertainment and is the industry leader in the sales and marketing of the vintage, retro‐trend, dynasty style ultra‐premium wool and felt banners, pennants and related fandom with a portfolio of over 1,000 consumer products in their style‐book and line‐extensions.
Lencheski had been the independent board director appointed by Granite Bridge for the past sixteen months prior to this new appointment at Winning Steak Sports.
“I have enjoyed getting to know the board, employees and the entirety of the Winning Streak Sports ecosystem these past 16 months and am looking forward to this expanded role,” Lencheski said. “Winning Streak Sports’ products are visually pleasing, trend‐forward and bring consumer footfall into stores; they are priced to allow our retail and e‐commerce partners to be very successful and are positioned to align with consumer transition to the “digital‐first” lifestyle in sports & entertainment programming. Finally, the employees of Winning Streak Sports are the reason for this success ‐ they are literally “salt‐of‐the‐earth” genuine people and their love of the products they create and the respect of each other will drive the future.”
“We were excited to have Chris, both a successful entrepreneur and seasoned executive, join the Winning Streak Sports Board approximately 16 months ago as an independent director and are even more so that he accepted the new responsibility as CEO,” said Michael Goodman, Partner at Granite Bridge. “Chris has impressed us with his deep industry knowledge, strategic thinking and connectivity at the highest levels across leagues, teams, agencies and all‐things sports. Moreover, and equally important to Granite Bridge, this commitment includes meaningful equity ownership which was important to both Chris and us. Given ever‐expanding exuberant “Fandom”, growing markets and new channels to connect with sports fans and entertainment brand “avids”, we believe there is presently a significant opportunity to acquire and scale companies with premium licensed products in the sports and entertainment CPG vertical.”
With over 20 years of professional sports and entertainment experience, Chris Lencheski has authored industry‐setting standards and practice guidelines followed by major entities from network and cable television groups to Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, Chris served as both the Senior Advisor to the Board and Management of global media and commercial rights company, MP & Silva and the Vice‐ Chairman and CEO of IRG Sports + Entertainment – A TPG Specialty Lending Company, encompassing more than 1,150 motorsports, live entertainment and corporate events annually at their venues and within their global racing series. Lencheski was retained to author and execute the corporate renewal of IRG Sports + Entertainment and under his leadership, IRG Sports + Entertainment expanded into Australia, acquired content from NASCAR to Red Bull Global Rally Cross. Prior to IRGSE, the Syracuse University and Harvard Business School alumnus was President of Comcast‐Spectators’ subsidiary Front Row Marketing and Analytics (“FRMS”) – FRMS was the commercial rights, sponsorship and analytics firm inside the greater Comcast ecosystem of stadiums, arenas, teams and properties. FRMS was acquired by Learfield Sports in 2015. While at FRMS, his work included collaborations with the Americas' Cup, the English Premier League, the Olympics, Formula One and World Cup projects as well as a host of international and national properties from every major sports league to governing bodies. Chris was also a multiple team owner in the NASCAR Sprint and Nationwide Series, as well as owner of an International Hockey League franchise, the Quad City Mallards, an affiliate of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.
About Winning Streak Sports
Headquartered in suburban Kansas City, Winning Streak Sports is a leading provider of licensed premium hard goods products in professional sports and entertainment. Winning Streak Sports over the years has enjoyed long‐standing relationships with the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, NFLPA, MLBPA, PGA, The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, IndyCar, NCAA schools, Heisman Ceremony, NFL Hall of Fame, MLB Hall of Fame, NBA Hall of Fame, NHL Hall of Fame, US Military and many major global football brands such as Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and the Mexican national team. Utilizing a full suite of creative, logistics, legal, financial, operational, sales and marketing personnel, supplemented by a global team of independent representatives and distributors, Winning Streak Sports products grace the stores of leading retailers and are offered on multiple global e‐commerce platforms. Winning Streak Sports products have been featured in many movies, television shows – both scripted and unscripted – and have appeared on multiple national sports studio shows. Finally, Winning Streak Sports products have been to space aboard a NASA administered space program. Consumers may enjoy Winning Streak Sports at shop.wssdecor.com.
About Granite Bridge Partners LLC
Granite Bridge Partners LLC is a lower middle market private equity investment firm. Granite Bridge targets control investments in companies with EBITDA of between $2 million and $12 million in the following sectors: consumer products and services, outsourced business services and niche manufacturing. For more information visit www.granitebridge.com.
For additional information please contact:
Granite Bridge Partners LLC
420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 920
New York, NY 10170