In Memoriam: Peter Seidler
San Diego Padres owner and chairman Peter Seidler, whose private equity firm owned nearly a dozen suppliers in the promotional products industry, has died. He was 63.
The Padres organization announced that he passed away on November 14, but didn’t disclose a cause of death. In August, he had undergone an unspecified medical procedure, and in mid-September, the organization announced that he wouldn’t be back at Petco Park – home of the Padres – for the rest of 2023, The Associated Press reported.
Seidler, whose grandfather was longtime Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, was a two-time cancer survivor who previously battled Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, according to his biography on the Padres’ website.
“Today, our love and prayers encircle Peter’s family as they grieve the loss of an extraordinary husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend,” said Padres CEO Erik Greupner. “Peter was a kind and generous man who was devoted to his wife, children and extended family. He also consistently exhibited heartfelt compassion for others, especially those less fortunate.”
Impact On Promo
In 1992, Seidler co-founded Seidler Equity Partners, a private equity firm that manages more than $5 billion in assets and has invested in high-profile brands, such as gym chain LA Fitness and sports equipment maker Rawlings.
- With Seidler as managing partner, the investment group purchased the Padres in 2012.
- In 2020, Seidler became the Padres’ chairman.
Seeing value in the promo industry, Seidler Equity Partners also invested in several suppliers, including The Magnet Group (PPAI 338534, S11) – ranked the No. 43 supplier in this year’s PPAI 100 – and Sweda, which was acquired by SnugZ USA (PPAI 112982, S11) – ranked the No. 9 supplier in the PPAI 100 – in 2022.
Industry veteran Jim Hagan, longtime CEO of Sweda before the acquisition, is Seidler’s brother-in-law.
“Peter Seidler was a remarkable person,” Hagan says. “His incredible business acumen and dedication to his community were rooted deeply in humility and compassion for others. He had a devout love for his family and friends, and always showed up for them in both joyful and challenging times.”
In 1998, Seidler tried adding another top supplier – Prime Line – to his portfolio, according to Rick Brenner, former president of Prime Line and a former PPAI Board chair.
- alphabroder (PPAI 156993, S16) – promo’s third leading supplier in the PPAI 100 – acquired Prime Line in 2017.
“Peter was incredibly sharp, kind, caring, humble, respectful, insightful and really a privilege to work with,” says Brenner, MAS+, president of Product Safety Advisors, a business services provider. “I can’t think of enough accolades for Peter.”
Hagan compares Seidler to a “great coach, trusting and pushing others to succeed and contribute to the team effort, but acting decisively when needed to avoid failure.”
“He had high expectations, but never sought the glorification of his own ego. He was amazingly humble and smart, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. Peter’s inimitable leadership and commitment to our community will be sorely missed,” Hagan says.
A beloved philanthropist, Seidler created the “Tuesday Group,” a weekly gathering of political, business and civic leaders to discuss how to help San Diego’s homeless population.
- For his efforts, he was recognized as the San Diego Public Official of the Year by the Building Owners and Managers Association and San Diego Nice Guy of the Year in 2017.
- In 2019, he was one of only two private citizens added to “Leadership Council” on San Diego’s Homelessness Reduction Plan.
Seidler and his wife Sheel also supported numerous charities, including The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The American Cancer Society, Home Start and various health and wellness initiatives at The Mayo Clinic.
"His impact on the city of San Diego and the baseball world will be felt for generations,” Greupner said. “His generous spirit is now firmly embedded in the fabric of the Padres. Although he was our chairman and owner, Peter was at his core a Padres fan. He will be dearly missed.”
Seidler is survived by his wife; their three children; his mother; and nine brothers and sisters.