North Castle Partners announced a strategic investment and partnership with Sparx Hockey, the inventors of the Sparx Skate Sharpener. The partnership provides the company with additional resources and expertise to assist Sparx Hockey in its continued growth and increasing global presence.

Founded in 2013, Sparx Hockey was recently named the fastest-growing sports brand and 56th fastest-growing private company in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine. The company’s flagship product, the Sparx Skate Sharpener is “an affordable, automated skate sharpener that allows anyone, anywhere to sharpen skates with pro-level accuracy.” The Sparx Skate Sharpener is used by thousands of customers around the world, including more than 25 National Hockey League teams. The Company recently expanded its distribution to Europe and Russia.

“We are proud to partner with Russ and his team,” said North Castle Managing Director Alison Minter. “Sparx is an innovative category leader that is solving a major pain point for hockey families and offers an unparalleled value proposition to its loyal users. Sparx has experienced strong growth since its founding and we believe there is significant potential to further build on its success with increased investments in awareness, distribution and innovation.”

North Castle Partners is a private equity firm focused on investments in consumer-driven product and service businesses that promote healthy, active and sustainable living. The private equity firm partners with management teams to bring a wide range of strategic and operational capabilities to build companies. North Castle’s current portfolio includes brands Barry’s Bootcamp, Brooklyn Boulders, Echelon, Five Iron Golf, Full Swing, HydroMassage, Mack Weldon, SmartyPants and Windham Mountain. Prior company holdings included Cascade Hockey/Lacrosse, Contigo, Equinox Fitness, and Octane Fitness.

“North Castle has a tremendous track record of growing businesses in sports and recreation, and as the founder of Sparx Hockey it was important to align our company with a partner who is equally dedicated to growing our business while also maintaining our important entrepreneurial spirit,” said Russell Layton, CEO and founder, Sparx Hockey. “The North Castle team, along with its many portfolio companies, has in-depth industry knowledge and expertise that will be valuable assets for our future growth. We look forward to embarking on the next chapter of Sparx Hockey with North Castle Partners by our side.”

The terms of the investment were not disclosed. North Castle was represented by Morrison Cohen LLP while Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP served as legal advisor for Sparx Hockey.

Photo courtesy Sparx Skate