The IRT and IRT Network Join Forces
The men’s professional International Racquetball Tour and the IRT Network will combine forces. The new company (E.J. Promotions) will be owned by an investor group led by John Scott. The investors include Cindy Tilbury and Rick Betts out of Malibu, Calif., Sal and Dee Perconti of St. Petersburg, Fla., Robert Blumenshine of St. Louis, Mo., and Dean Baer of Long Island, N.Y., all longtime supporters of the sport.
This exciting merger is being done to take advantage of synergies between the men’s pro Tour and broadcast channel. IRT President Jason Mannino will step into a consulting role and IRT Network Owner John Scott will become the IRT CEO. The collaboration will allow for more free streaming matches, streamlined business opportunities for partners, and a new approach to the sport of professional racquetball.
Scott said that this new entity has several plans to help create what he calls a renaissance of the sport. “There’s a lot of initiatives planned, and people will quickly see the new trajectory as we rollout the new model. One thing I’m most excited for is our new junior player initiative which will create exposure to young players that have never seen the sport before. We have also been contacted by an inner city youth program that has interest in building indoor and outdoor courts to allow children to get off the streets and learn a new sport.” Scott added that this is just a couple examples of the many things to come.
“I’ve said for years that we must unite and this is a great step towards that,” he said. “I’m excited for this amazing opportunity and cannot be more thankful for this opportunity. First I’m thankful to Jason and the current IRT Board for the years of loyalty and support, the investment group that has put a lot of faith in me, my wife and family, but mostly to the fans. Your support in this new endeavor and in the past means the world to me professionally and personally. We have a good foundation out there, and it is time as a sport to come together and work together for the same goal. I believe there is still good left in this sport…and it’s worth fighting for.”
“The merger comes at the perfect time, as we approach a new and exciting IRT season,” Mannino said. “John Scott and I have been discussing combining forces for the past few years, and it wasn’t until recently that the prospect started to take shape. This is great news for the sport as it combines two of the leading organizations, that already had a close affiliation. This formalizes it. I’m excited to see what the future of the combined entity will bring.”