Virgin Voyages has announced an investment by Patricof Co. (P/Co), a highly specialized private investment platform for professional athletes, adding a roster of more than 40 entrepreneurial athletes including Venus Williams, Blake Griffin, Kemba Walker, Travis Kelce, CC Sabathia, Xavien Howard, George Kittle and Trea Turner as the brand’s latest group of investors and fans, according to a press release.
The new athlete investor line-up will be an active part of shaping the future of the product and the experience, the company said.
P/Co and its roster of athletes join other blue chip investors Bain Capital and Virgin Group.
Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages, said: “The past several months have been an exciting whirlwind of inaugural celebrations and our launch here in the US. It has been incredible to finally show off our beautiful Scarlet Lady to the world. We’ve been supported by incredible partners since we started this journey. It’s exciting to welcome these superstar athletes onboard who will bring great energy and ideas as we grow globally and add three new ships to our fleet by 2023. It’s also proof of how entrepreneurialism is at the heart of this brand as we evolve to have investors who are more than just people who write checks, they are part of the business and helping us navigate the future.”
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, added: “Launching Virgin Voyages has been an incredible journey and it’s exciting to align with superstar athletes who bring undeniable energy and ideas to Virgin Voyages as we expand our fleet globally. It was so much fun welcoming some of them on board Scarlet Lady earlier this year and sharing the wonderful experience on board the ship.”
Venus Williams, tennis champion and entrepreneur, said: “I’m thrilled to be partnering with Virgin Voyages and helping to bring this incredible experience to the US. Traveling and taking in different cultures is so important to me and I’m excited to work with this team to deliver that opportunity to more customers.”
Blake Griffin, forward for the Brooklyn Nets, said: “Virgin and Richard Branson instinctively know how to do things the right way… always leading with uniqueness and innovation. When Patricof Co brought this investment opportunity to me, I jumped at the chance to invest in Virgin Voyages in the early stages and I’ve been really impressed with the brand ever since.”
P/Co will work with Virgin Voyages to establish an Athlete Advisory Council which will play an active role in designing experiences for Sailors to ensure the Virgin Voyages sailings are distinct from other holidays. The athletes will also work collaboratively with the brand on sustainability initiatives given the focus brought by Richard Branson and Virgin globally on this important issue.