Capital Buzz: D.C. businessman buying Dayton baseball team


Greg Rosenbaum, left, and business partner Nick Sakellariadis, right. (Courtesy of Dayton Dragons/Courtesy of Dayton Dragons)

Washington investor, Democratic fundraiser and self-described baseball fanatic Greg Rosenbaum is leading a trio of Harvard College graduates and friends to buy the Dayton Dragons minor league baseball team.

Rosenbaum, 61, who is a longtime Bethesda resident, a Washington Nationals season ticket holder and has a suite at Nationals Park, is president of Bethesda-based Palisades Associates , a merchant banking firm.

Rosenbaum’s partners in the purchase, which is expected to close in 30 to 60 days, are former Citigroup investment banker Nick Sakellariadis and Michael Savit of Boston, who has owned and run several minor league baseball teams, an NBA Development League team and is a limited partner in the NBA Memphis Grizzlies.

“Our business plan is to let management continue what they are doing,” said Rosenbaum, who was a member of a group that put in a bid to buy the Nationals, only to lose out to Theodore Lerner and his family.

The Dragons, who play in the Class A Midwest League and are affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds, have logged 1,000 consecutive sellouts at the 8,400-capacity Fifth Third Field. Former Nationals Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns played there.

Rosenbaum said the Dragons, which is profitable, is being purchased from Mandalay Baseball Properties, part of an entertainment company run by longtime Hollywood executive Peter Guber and Magic Johnson.

Sakellariadis said the secret sauce will be to unleash the current management to focus on boosting Dragons revenue. Previously, the two top executives, whom the new owners have locked up for five years, were distracted by helping out with other Mandalay baseball properties.

With a packed house, the new owners will focus on selling more advertising and adding new themes and innovations to the concessions.

Rosenbaum’s love of the sports dates to when he covered baseball as an undergraduate for Harvard’s radio station. In addition to the Nationals, he has season tickets to the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. He gave up his tickets to the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians.

So does this mean Rosenbaum is still on the hunt for an MLB team?

“I am sure if the opportunity presented itself and made economic sense, that we would love to own a Major League team. But I don’t think we are going to hold our breaths on that.”

Factoid of the Week:

500,000That’s the number of bobbleheads that the Nats will have given out from 2006 to August 21, which is Ian Desmond bobblehead day. “Bobbleheads help drive attendance because each one is produced in limited quantities and represent a milestone in a player’s career, similar to a baseball card. People love to collect them,” said Valerie Camillo, Nationals chief revenue and marketing officer.

Welcome to D.C.

Metalogix is making a splash at Washington Dulles International Airport. The District-based technology firm strung a giant welcome banner above the escalators at Terminal C to catch all those Microsoft eyeballs attending the software giant’s partner conference now under way in the District. Metalogix, located in Friendship Heights, helps clients better exploit Microsoft products, such as SharePoint and Exchange. “There are 15,000 Microsoft partners and executives coming to Washington through that terminal,” Metalogix chief executive Steve Murphy said. “We want to welcome them.” Metalogix is hosting events at Zengo, the Marriott Marquis and at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The Buzz Hears:

Martin Ringlein, co-founder of Crystal City-based Nvite, an online ticket and registration platform, closed a $1 million seed round led by Paul Singh’s Crystal Tech Fund as well as Middle Bridge Partners, NextGen Angels and Middleland Capital, all Washington area investors. Ringlein’s advisers include John Bracken (founder of eVite) and Alex Michael (former vice president of business development at Ticketmaster). Ringlein’s start-up is expected to openat the end of July. He is a former White House Presidential Innovation Fellow.

Over 50 members of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants participated in the first of a series of webinars on IT issues and topics presented by Network Alliance, under their new partnership.

Marc Katz of Fairfax-based CustomInk, the $200 million-grossing T-shirt company, split his job in two and hired a president to help guide the company’s growing appetite for expansion. Katz, 37, who will remain as chief executive, has hired Nick Braden, a manager who has worked at McLean-based Mars, among other companies. Braden starts his new job Aug. 11.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
Continue reading
Comments
Show Comments

business

capitalbusiness

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Most Read Business