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Star athlete investors to play active role in shaping Virgin Voyages

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Richard Branson and Paris Hilton, left, with Patricof Co. athletes including Venus Williams, right. Holding the Champagne bottle is Tom McAlpin
Patricof Co., a private investment platform for professional athletes, made an investment in Virgin Voyages, joining Bain Capital and Virgin Group.

The investment adds a superstar 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. The new athlete investor lineup will be an active part of shaping the future of the product and the experience.

Bringing energy and ideas

'It’s exciting to welcome these superstar athletes on board who will bring great energy and ideas as we grow globally and add three new ships to our fleet by 2023,' said Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages. '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.'

Preceding its inaugural season from PortMiami, Scarlet Lady hosted a series of celebrations that gathered star athletes and celebrities from around the world. Mixing a bit of business with pleasure, the Patricof Co. athletes and investors experienced a taste of Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said it was 'so much fun welcoming some of [the superstar athletes] on board Scarlet Lady earlier this year and sharing the wonderful experience on board the ship.'

Venus Williams and Blake Griffin

'I'm thrilled to be partnering with Virgin Voyages and helping to bring this incredible experience to the US,' tennis champion/entrepreneur Venus Williams said. '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.'

Added Blake Griffin, forward for the Brooklyn Nets: '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.'

Athlete Advisory Council

Patricof Co. will work with Virgin Voyages to establish an Athlete Advisory Council to play an active role in designing experiences for sailors (passengers) to ensure the sailings are distinct from other holidays.The athletes will also work with the brand on sustainability initiatives given the focus brought by Branson and Virgin globally on this important issue.

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