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DraftKings Hires Iron Man Cal Ripken Jr. as Special Adviser

DraftKings gets the marketing cachet of Ripken's amazing streak of 2,632 consecutive games played for the Baltimore Orioles.
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Baseball's Iron Man, Cal Ripken Jr., is joining market darling DraftKings  (DKNG) - Get DraftKings Inc. Report, a leading sports gambling platform, as a special adviser to the board of directors.

“He will lend strategic insights to the board of directors and Chief Executive Officer on key company initiatives and will become a DraftKings equity holder,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. 

Ripken’s biggest contribution, however, may be the marketing value of his name, given his legendary baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. He’s best known for his streak of 2,632 consecutive games (more than 16 complete seasons) played, which is how he earned the Iron Man sobriquet.

The 60-year-old Hall of Famer is also one of only 10 players in Major League history with more than 3,000 hits and 400 home runs.

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“Ripken will advise the DraftKings board of directors and Chief Executive Officer on company strategy, product development and marketing activities,” the company said.

Ripken currently runs Ripken Baseball, a youth baseball business that operates four tournament and instruction destinations.

Online gambling, especially for sports, has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people are stuck at home with plenty of time on their hands.

DraftKings has been a major beneficiary of the trend. It recently traded at $60.58, up 0.51%, and has skyrocketed 258% over the past year. Its earnings are due out on Friday.

Last Friday, Oppenheimer analyst Jed Kelly raised his target price for the company to $80 from $65 and affirmed his outperform rating. Kelly's action was based on anticipation of a strong fourth-quarter-earnings report, with his analysis of state gambling data indicating “solid upside” for revenue expectations.