Sonoma-Based Entrepreneur to Give Back to Community Through Local Baseball Team
Sonoma, Calif. – Jon Sebastiani, accomplished entrepreneur and Founder of KRAVE Jerky and Sonoma Brands (ZÜPA NOMA, SmashMallow, DANG Foods), announces today the acquisition of the Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club. The Sonoma Stompers play as a member of the Pacific Association Professional Baseball Clubs and were 2016 Pacific Association Champions. Sebastiani’s latest entrepreneurial endeavor reaffirms his commitment to the Sonoma region and the preservation of the area’s strong tourism, family values and traditions.
“I am very proud to call Sonoma my hometown; a region so rich is culture and tradition,” said Jon Sebastiani. “I am thrilled to continue the growth of the Sonoma Stompers organization by elevating fan experiences and making the club an even larger part of the fabric of our community.”
Founded in 2014, the Sonoma Stompers have garnered local and national support by providing a fun, community atmosphere that is pitch perfect. On the national level, the Stompers have received attention for the team’s 2016 homerun additions of female athletes Kelsie Whitmore, whose Stompers memorabilia was recently enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and Stacy Piagno. These additions made the Stompers the first co-ed professional baseball team since the 1950’s to have more than one female player on the roster simultaneously.
"I'm excited to see the Stompers remain under local ownership, and I look forward to working together to continue to promote women in baseball," says Francis Ford Coppola, whose Virginia Dare Winery is a premier sponsor of the Sonoma Stompers. It was Francis Coppola who originally approached the Stompers and brought forth the effort to promote the recruitment, development and advancement of women in baseball.
"I'm very much looking forward to continuing this amazing journey with the Stompers,” said Theo Fightmaster, General Manager of the Sonoma Stompers. “We've been part of historic moments in baseball, we've sent players to major league organizations and we’ve won a lot of games. I'm grateful for everything Eric and Lani Gullotta, and Derek Rampone did to help usher in this great era of Stompers Baseball, and I'm excited to begin working with Jon in writing the next chapter of baseball in Sonoma."
The Sonoma Stompers play ball at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field, located at 234 W. Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476. The 1,400-seat stadium is in the heart of Sonoma, just off the historic plaza. The Stompers hit the field for the 2017 season beginning in May. For more information on the Sonoma Stompers, please visit www.stompersbaseball.com.
About Jon Sebastiani
Jon Sebastiani is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and holds a dual MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and Columbia University. His expertise in establishing and growing successful food brands has been cultivated through years of managing operations in previous positions, as managing partner of Wines.com, President of the premier California winery destination Viansa Winery, and most recently leading the jerky renaissance as Founder of KRAVE Jerky. In 2016, following the acquisition of KRAVE Jerky by The Hershey Company, Sebastiani launched Sonoma Brands. Sonoma Brands is a one-of-a-kind consumer products incubator and venture fund, set to revitalize stagnant industry categories with innovation. Sonoma Brands has since invested in Dang Foods and has launched two brands under its incubator umbrella; ZÜPA NOMA and SmashMallow. For more information on Jon and Sonoma Brands, please visit www.sonomabrands.com.
About Virginia Dare Winery
Virginia Dare Winery, American wines since 1835, pays tribute to America’s winegrowing heritage. The existence of the 400-year-old scuppernong “Mother Vine,” a variety of muscadine, growing on Roanoke Island, North Carolina is intertwined with the story of one of the first English settlements in the New World, which later mysteriously disappeared without a trace, leaving nothing but a spellbinding story of mythical and mysterious characters – each of which grace the labels of our wines. Crafted with grapes from the finest viticulture regions in California, our wines are rich with characteristics befitting an American legend: Pure. Natural. Distinctive. Learn more by visiting Virginia Dare Winery located at 22281 Chianti Road, Geyserville, CA 95441.