Slipka, named managing partner of the Canaries, is joined in the ownership group by entrepreneurs Anthony Albanese and Sam Swartz, co-founders of Duke Cannon Supply Co. They purchased the MLB Partner League team from current owners Mark Ogren and Tom Garrity.
“We’re confident that the fans are going to enjoy our approach to improving the baseball experience and that word will spread quickly—the Canaries will be the hottest ticket in Sioux Falls starting with our home opener on May 18,” said Slipka. “And personally, this means a lot to my family as I was born in Sioux Falls and my mom grew up here. In a way, it’s like a homecoming.
“In purchasing the Canaries, we see an unparalleled opportunity to leverage Twan’s (Anthony) and Sam’s experience in creative brand development for the benefit of South Dakota baseball fans and the American Association of Professional Baseball,” said Slipka. “We are committed to strengthening the league and giving fans a thrilling experience. We are also excited to roll out some long-term planning and partnerships with the City and Business Leaders.”
Garrity will be staying on in the short term as a consultant to ensure a smooth transition. Seven-year Canaries veteran General Manager Duell Higbe will remain in his position.
Albanese and Swartz are founders of Duke Cannon Supply Co., the men’s grooming company known for its rugged approach for marketing. Slipka, through True North Equity Partners, is the managing partner of more than a dozen independent small businesses throughout the upper Midwest.