The North County Battalion were established in 2015 and are due to play their inaugural season in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) this year. Sunrise Capital Partners is a pioneering alternative asset management firm that is now in its 37th year of investing. Founded in 1980, Sunrise Capital is headquartered in Carlsbad, California. Sunrise will serve as the Title Sponsor of the North County Battalion for the next three years.
Jason Barbato, owner of NC Battalion, in a statement to SoccerNation.com said, “I am extremely excited for what Jason (Gerlach, Sunrise CEO) and Sunrise bring to the table. We, the Battalion, have an iron-clad determination to be a staple in this community and the investment made by Sunrise Capital Partners into our club gives us a level us stability and sustainability not often found in NPSL teams.”
How did this union come to pass? SoccerNation.com spoke exclusively with Jason Gerlach, CEO of Sunrise Capital Partners to learn more about who they are and what they’re on about.
Dike Anyiwo: Congratulations on your new partnership with the Battalion. Can you tell us what made you decide to partner with a fledgling NPSL team?
Jason Gerlach: I’m very excited about the deal I just signed with the Battalion. I’m pretty locked into the soccer community here. My son has been playing competitive soccer here for about 7 years, and he’s been with the San Diego Surf for 3 years. I played soccer myself for about 20 years growing up. I’ve been very interested in the intersection between soccer and business locally, nationally, and globally really. I love my company I love what we do. It’s a combining of two passions. We’re able to have even more connectivity with he soccer world. The best of both worlds.
DA: Tell me more about your company, Sunrise Capital Partners. How were you formed?
JG: We’re into our 37th year of operation now. We actually got started around the same time the first big soccer wave hit the United States. Surf Soccer Club was originally founded, I think, in 1977 as an all-star game for local kids. They went on the become a youth club later on. The first major youth clubs started to crop up in the mid-70s and early 80s. The founders of Sunrise all came together in the mid-70s. They were all investment managers, guys with thoughts as to how they could help people make money on their money. They forged a partnership and launched Sunrise Capital Partners in 1980
DA: What is the objective of Sunrise Capital Partners today?
JG: For 37 years we’ve been helping individuals, families, institutions create wealth. We seek to help our clients achieve great things by assisting them in putting away capital, earning a return, and reinvesting that capital in their lives. Things like building and buying homes and businesses, putting kids through college; that is what we do on a day-to-day basis. Asset management is probably one of the most rewarding fields there is. We help people achieve their dreams.
DA: So tell us about your interest in the North County Battalion?
JG: Businesses don’t run in vacuums. We are part of the San Diego community. Youth sports have long been of massive interest for me. I have two children and they both play sports. We’ve sponsored soccer, flag football, basketball, baseball, and Surf Soccer Club specifically for years. Our employees are active in the community as well. One of our guys coaches in a youth softball/baseball league. The list goes on and on, you can find the whole thing on our website. We really believe in giving back to the community. It is not enough to just run a great business and make money in that business. You need to do more. It is our civic duty to lift the community to a new level and help everyone benefit. You need to be a citizen of the community you’re in. That belief is what ties into why we became involved with NC Battalion. We met Jason a few weeks ago and were instantly captivated by his passion and his desire to create a special organization that does more than just play soccer. He wants to bring people together for a common good. For a purpose of emboldening youth soccer. It was a natural fit for us. It was clear that Battalion had some needs that we could help them with. Our business expertise in addition to capital and sponsorship will help propel the Battalion to the forefront of the soccer conversation in San Diego. It is one of those rare 1+1=3 partnerships. Being involved with the Battalion is consistent with our goal of being more than just a company that does what it does.
The North County Battalion kick off their season April 2nd on the road against SoCalSports Club in San Bernardino. Their first home game is on April 9th at Del Norte High School when they host FC Hasenthal at 7:00 p.m. For more information, check out their Facebook, Twitter, and homepage.