Sam Kennedy, president and CEO of the Red Sox, now sits on the board of directors of a public company looking to invest in the “experiential entertainment” industry.
Led by former MGM Resorts International head Jim Murren, Acies Acquisition Corp. is a $200 million SPAC (a blank-check company formed to raise capital to acquire minority or controlling interest in an existing company) that launched last fall.
Kennedy already sits on the boards of several New England-based nonprofit organizations. With Acies representing his first professional board foray, Kennedy views it as a résumé-rounding experience with a clear start and end date.
“My hope is that I can add value at Acies, and this public company board responsibility will add to my own professional experience,” said Kennedy, who, like Murren, is a graduate of Trinity College. “I am grateful for this short-term assignment.”
Examples of what kind of an “experiential entertainment” company Acies could pursue range from a traditional restaurant chain, mobile gaming, and sports betting operation to a recreational bricks-and-mortar outfit such as a music venue or amusement park. The company is focused on a US-based property that is either consumer-facing or a business-to-business platform.
Acies has a two-year time frame in which to consummate a deal, otherwise money is returned to investors. According to Acies’s prospectus, Murren is subject to a non-compete with MGM until late this March, which would signal a deal is not considered imminent.
Besides their Trinity connection, Kennedy and Murren forged a partnership in March of 2019, when MGM Resorts became the “official and exclusive resort casino of the Boston Red Sox.”
For Acies, Kennedy serves as an independent board member, with appointments on the nominating and compensation committees.
The other three Acies board members are Zach Leonsis, vice president and general manager of Monumental Sports Network; Brisa Trinchero, Broadway investor and entrepreneur; and Andrew Zobler, founder and CEO of the Sydell Group hospitality company.
A Brookline native, Kennedy joined the Red Sox executive suite in 2002. In addition to his Red Sox responsibilities, Kennedy also serves as the chief executive of Fenway Sports Management, a sports marketing and sales agency. The parent company of the Red Sox and FSM is Fenway Sports Group, whose principal owner, John Henry, also owns the Globe.
Kennedy serves on the Camp Harbor View board of directors, the BASE’s advisory committee, the Dana Farber’s visiting committee for institute initiatives, the Beth Israel Deaconess trustee/advisory board, and the Winsor School board of trustees.