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Athletx Sports Group Adds NET Elite Baseball, Expanding its Geographic Footprint into the Southeast!

Athletx Sports Group Adds NET Elite Baseball, Expanding its Geographic Footprint into the Southeast!
For Immediate Release: February 24, 2021
Contact: Aaron Flaker | Email: aflaker@athletx.com

NET Elite Baseball (NET Elite) has officially joined the Athletx Sports Group (Athletx) family, home to multiple other nationally-recognized travel baseball and softball events and media brands. This is a key geographical move for the fast-moving Athletx brand and its rapid expansion plans. NET Elite represents the sixth brand merger for Athletx in the last four years.

NET Elite and its events were born in northeastern Tennessee in 2014, thus the acronym “NET” used in the company name. NET Elite’s original game plan was to host travel baseball tournaments and showcases for high school age athletes at major college campuses, minor league venues and premier high school fields. In 2018, NET Elite added youth events that were hosted across eastern Tennessee.

NET Elite events attracted approximately 1,400 teams in 2019, 1,900 teams in 2020 and the expectation is to host well over 2,000 teams in 2021. Over the last few years, NET Elite has experienced 15-20% growth annually at the high school age level and nearly 100% at the youth level. NET Elite’s youth events serve teams ages 7u (all levels) through 13u D2-D3/AA-A teams and the high school age events host 13u D1/Major teams through 18u (all levels). NET Elite also hosts the Smoky Mountain Collegiate League (SMCL), a summer baseball league in its fourth year, which features committed and signed graduated high school players and current collegiate players from around the country. Games are played at collegiate venues including feature field, Lindsey Nelson Stadium, home of University of Tennessee baseball.

Wesley Jones, who founded the company in 2014, will continue to lead the brand on behalf of Athletx as Co-Owner and President of NET Elite. Wesley was born and raised in Kingsport, TN, where he was a stand-out athlete at Dobyns-Bennett High School. Jones went on to play baseball at Milligan College, where he set numerous school and conference records on the diamond. After college, Wesley spent 3 years playing in the minor leagues and with various independent baseball teams. Wesley’s brother, Brad Jones, joined NET Elite shortly after its inception and will continue to serve as General Manager. Jason Sewell, who joined NET Elite in 2018, will serve as Youth Director.

“First off, I want to say thanks to the Athletx family for bringing us onboard. We, at NET Elite, are very excited about our new venture with Athletx and strongly believe coming together will help expand our brand by allowing us to add new destinations geographically along with increasing participation at current events,” said Wesley Jones. “With the strong team and infrastructure in place at Athletx, it will allow NET Elite to use a top-notch, technological approach by implementing immediate improvements to our existing logos and website, streamlining our team registration and communication processes and enhancing our overall marketing and branding efforts. We look forward to being a part of a winning, nationally-recognized company, thus adding new life and minds to an already great product to make NET Elite grow and flourish even more over the years to come.”

“We are truly excited to have NET Elite join our family of brands here at Athletx Sports Group. The brand has a strong presence in an area and region that has a lot of really high-end talent at the high school level,” said Tom Davidson, Partner of Athletx and President of Pastime/Mid-America. “NET Elite matches the focus of our existing brands, Pastime Tournaments and Mid-America Baseball, in regards to utilizing top-end venues around the country, while providing a unique tournament experience that only these college venues can provide. Adding NET Elite will allow us to reach some of the top teams and players in that region as we push to provide even more national exposure opportunities to athletes looking to get recruited at the next level.”

Aaron Flaker, Co-Founder and CBDO of Athletx, added, “Athletx prides itself on constantly searching for and adding great brands with great people powering them and, most importantly, adding partners that are just as passionate about baseball and competing as we are. NET Elite fits that mold perfectly and allows us to significantly expand our geographic footprint into the southeastern U.S. as well as deepening our reach in the high school travel baseball market. This represents another big move for us at Athletx for sure, but as they say, ‘we ain’t done yet.’ More to come!”

ABOUT ATHLETX SPORTS GROUP:
Athletx brings together multiple nationally-recognized brands under one family, including Pastime Tournaments, Youth Baseball & Softball Nationals, Youth World Series, Game Day USA, Baseball Youth/Softball Youth, Mid-America Baseball, VERSUS, New Year’s BaseballFest, TravelBall Select and Drive & Company. Recent and rapid growth have propelled Athletx to being ranked #1214 on the Inc. 5000 list, which recognizes the fastest-growing private companies nationally and #3 in the Business First Fast 50, which recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in the Louisville area. Athletx Sports Group and its brands collectively represent nearly 600 team-based and individual player events across the nation, featuring over 15,000 teams, 194,000 players, 38,000 coaches and 371,000 spectators. These events have featured athletes and teams from all 50 U.S. states and internationally including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Bahamas, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. In addition to producing first-class events, Athletx boasts a strong media presence with over 720,000 social media followers across its brands’ various Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok platforms. Athletx maintains offices in Louisville, KY (corporate headquarters), Chicago, IL (Naperville) and Indianapolis, IN (Carmel). For more information, visit www.athletx.com.

ABOUT NET ELITE BASEBALL:
NET Elite Baseball was founded in 2014 as a tournament company serving northeastern Tennessee with the primary purpose of hosting high school age travel baseball tournaments and showcases. NET Elite has grown to hosting over 2,000 teams at events throughout TN, VA, KY, NC and SC. NET Elite's primary focus is to host quality events for all ages as well as serve as a platform to help high school student athletes be able to maximize exposure to colleges. For more information, visit www.netelitesports.com.

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Kyle Cornett

Assistant Director of Operations & Senior Event Director

Started playing the game of baseball at the age of 4 and the game has been apart of my life ever since. I graduated from Eastern High School and hold various offensive records while being 1st team All-State my junior and senior years.I now coach Eastern High School’s JV team. After graduating, I attended Murray State University and played for 4 years.When I’m not at a baseball field, you can find me cheering on the Louisville Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Ravens (Lamar Jackson), deer hunting, playing slow-pitch softball, hanging with friends.

What sport(s) did you play growing up?
Baseball and Basketball

Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Nicknamed “The Kid”, my favorite athlete, along with the majority of other 90’s kids, is Ken Griffey Jr. He changed the game of baseball with his backwards hat, swing, and athleticism in centerfield.