KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Some of the world’s best athletes, including a few Tennessee ones, are now investing in one of the most prominent brands in the Smokies.
Ole Smoky Distillery is partnering with Patricof Co, a New York-based investment platform that makes investment recommendations for professional athletes. Several of its clients have invested their personal funds into the Gatlinburg-based moonshine company.
Investors include Green Bay Packers wide receiver and Alcoa High School alumnus Randall Cobb, former Tennessee Titans linebacker Will Compton and NBA All-Star Kemba Walker.
“As a Tennessee native, I know how much Ole Smoky means to the community, from their four local distilleries to their charitable work protecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” Cobb said in a Wednesday release. “I’m excited to become a part of the Ole Smoky family, and I’m looking forward to supporting this home-grown business as it furthers the great Tennessee distilling legacy.”
Founded in 2010, Ole Smoky has become the largest craft distiller in the U.S. and has made the Inc. 5000, which ranks the fastest growing companies in the U.S., three years in a row.
This investment comes after Apax Partners, a London-based private equity firm, acquired a controlling stake of Ole Smoky in March, according to the release.
Ole Smoky CEO Robert Hall said Patricof's "consumer expertise and celebrity athlete power, we believe we can accelerate our impressive trajectory as we enter the next chapter of our business.”
Ole Smoky was East Tennessee’s first federally licensed distillery and sells its products in all 50 states and 20 countries.