Marucci Sports on Thursday said it acquired custom wood bat maker Victus Sports—which counts young stars such as Boston’s Mookie Betts and Houston’s Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve on its roster—as the latest addition to its growing portfolio.
Marucci founder Kurt Ainsworth, who pitched 126.2 innings in the big leagues with the Giants and Orioles, said it saw Victus as a brand on the rise.
“Victus makes a great product, they’re (run by) great guys. Jared (Smith) and Ryan (Engroff), we’ve gotten to know them over the years and we’ve watched them grow and continue to be really disruptive in the industry, doing different designs and different finishes,” Ainsworth said. “When we called those guys, we thought they would make a perfect complement to Marucci and what we’re doing, so we decided to start working together and one thing led to another and we ended up completing the acquisition.”
Ainsworth estimated that 10 percent of major leaguers currently use Victus bats, a group that particularly skewed toward the younger players. Smith and Engroff founded King of Prussia, Pa.-based Victus in 2012, and Ainsworth sees the opportunity to help the growing company reach new heights with Marucci’s backing.
“I kind of saw myself and Marucci and us eight years ago,” he said. “What we could basically do is help them avoid some of the mistakes we’ve made along the way and fast-forward their growth as a company and as a brand, and it’ll help us have much more distribution. We know the wood-bat market. We know what we can do to help them really grow their brand.”
Together, Marucci and Victus have the ability to reach a more all-encompassing market share and work together to strengthen their brand.
“We were inspired by Marucci from the beginning,” Smith said in the statement. “They have a tremendous team of great people, and we share their hunger for success. It’s an honor to be able join them on their mission of growing the game by delivering the products players want and need to be successful.”