WASHINGTON, DC – Old Glory DC Rugby Football Club of Major League Rugby is pleased to announce that Washington Nationals minority owner Paxton Baker, multi-Grammy Award winner Verdine White, and leading investment manager Pablo Calderini are joining the club as investors. All three have taken minority-ownership stakes in Old Glory DC.
Baker brings decades of experience in entertainment, event production, and professional sports investment to the club. Prior to investing in professional sports, Baker was President of BET Event Productions and General Manager of Centric and BET Digital Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc., for nearly two decades, producing top festivals, award shows, and concerts around the world. A Washington Nationals owner since 2006, Baker was also part owner of the Washington Kastles World Team Tennis and the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League champions, the Washington Spirit. Mr. Baker has one championship ring for each of the three teams. Internationally, he is also a minority owner of the NBA Africa League’s Cape Town Tigers.
Regarding his investment in Old Glory DC, Baker said, “The power and importance of live sports in the media landscape is undeniable. Sports also have the power to bring people and communities together. I love the Washington, D.C. market and recognize its importance as the nation’s capital, but it is also the community where I have spent the last 30 years of my life and care about deeply. There is always something special in uniting your community and the home team to experience the magic of a live event.”
Verdine White, founding member of the immortal supergroup Earth, Wind & Fire, is following his friend Baker’s lead in buying a minority stake in the team. A winner of eight Grammys over four decades and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, White is one of Rolling Stone’s 50 greatest bass players of all time and a supporter of music education in underserved communities through his nonprofit Verdine White Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. He is making his first investment in professional sports.
“Washington has always been an important market for Earth, Wind & Fire,” said Verdine White. “We have always sold out in the Washington, D.C., market at every point of our career. It’s a pleasure to invest in a community that has supported us with such great enthusiasm over so many years.”
Pablo E. Calderini is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Graham Capital Management and is responsible for the management and oversight of the discretionary and systematic trading businesses at GCM. Calderini is also a member of the firm’s Executive, Investment, Risk, and Compliance committees. He joined GCM in August 2010. Prior to joining GCM, Mr. Calderini worked at Deutsche Bank from June 1997 to July 2010 where he managed several business platforms including Equity Proprietary Trading, Emerging Markets, and Credit Derivatives. Calderini received a B.A. in Economics from Universidad Nacional de Rosario in 1987 and a Masters in Economics from Universidad del CEMA in 1989, each in Argentina.
Old Glory DC, the representative of the greater Washington DC metropolitan area in Major League Rugby, was founded in 2018 by life-long D.C. area residents, business leaders, and rugby players Chris Dunlavey and Paul Sheehy. The Scottish Rugby Union joined the partnership in 2019, establishing Scottish Rugby as the only Tier One national governing body in rugby to have linked with an MLR club. Since its inaugural season in 2018, MLR has grown from seven to 13 teams, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Currently, Old Glory has just clinched the first playoff appearance in its history, looking to chase the MLR championship in the 2023 postseason.
“Since our founding, Old Glory has been looking for opportunities to broaden our ownership group with partners who bring not only capital but real strategic value to our group,” said Old Glory’s Chairman, Chris Dunlavey. “At this point in our development, we could hardly do better than to include partners of this stature from the fields of sports, entertainment, and finance.”