True North Equity Partners Invests in Pillbox Bat Company of Winona, Minn.
Investment Provides Baseball Memorabilia Company—Official MLB Licensee—Freedom to Seize Massive Opportunities Coming Its Way
MINNEAPOLIS –Brian Slipka, CEO of Minneapolis-based True North Equity Partners, is pleased to announce that the company has made an equity investment in Pillbox Bat Company of Winona, Minnesota, through True North Sports, LLC. The deal was finalized on September 20.
Pillbox Bat Company was founded in 2015 by childhood friends Dan Watson and Zak Fellman. Named after the Pillbox historic ballpark in St. Paul, Minnesota, the company is a manufacturer of custom-painted baseball bats, a creator of baseball art, and a purveyor of collectible and commemorative baseball products. Pillbox is an officially licensed partner of the MLB, MLB Players Association, Negro League Baseball Museum, and National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“We weren’t looking for a partnership,” said Watson. “But once we started talking, everything just clicked. True North will bring not just capital but business value while allowing us to run the business the way we’ve always done. We will be able to tap into not just the capital we need but also into the expertise that True North brings to the table—specifically their experience in building companies and building brands.”
“This partnership has injected a sense of freedom and excitement in us,” said Watson. “We no longer have to think about how we might tackle the opportunities that come our way—especially with our MLB licensing agreement, which has opened doors and could open more, requiring more work, personnel, and equipment.”
“We have a strong belief in what Dan and Zak are doing at Pillbox,” said Slipka. “They have created a great business, and we believe they are just getting started. We are on board to ensure that the company’s growth is unimpeded by concerns about capital resources.”
“Along with my True North Sports partner, Duke Cannon founder Anthony Albanese, we plan to solidify the position of the Pillbox Bat Company as the go-to purveyor of premium high-quality collectible and commemorative goods for the ultimate sports fan,” said Slipka. “We are eager to leverage Anthony’s extensive brand-building expertise to elevate Pillbox to new heights.”
True North Equity Partners is a family of independent businesses that spans diverse sectors: transportation and logistics, precision manufacturing, distribution, technology, business services, software, hospitality, real estate, and sports. In the sports sector, the True North portfolio also includes the Sioux Falls Canaries minor league baseball team. This portfolio of more than two dozen companies generates over $200 million in annual revenue.