Chicago Bulls legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is joining DraftKings as a partial owner and adviser to business operations.
NBA legend Michael Jordan has reportedly decided on his latest business venture, taking partial ownership of DraftKings in exchange for a role as a special adviser, per ESPN’s David Purdum. The move makes a great deal of sense, considering Jordan’s known penchant for gambling and success with other brands.
Per CNBC, the announcement gave an immediate boost to the company’s stock, with shares jumping 16 percent following Jordan’s decision to join. After such a massive increase, it seems that his decision to invest in the daily fantasy sports sector is already paying off.
According to Purdum, Jordan’s actual equity stake is unknown, but his involvement with the sports betting company, despite his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets, does not qualify as a conflict of interest under NBA rules.
Considering Jordan’s massive success in building his own personal brand, it should come as no surprise that DraftKings was eager to bring him on.
Some pointed out that Michael Jordan’s involvement was ironic considering his gambling habits from his playing days
As Luke McGrath of Bloomberg points out, Jordan joining the company is somewhat ironic, since his love for gambling, and the controversy that has arisen from it, has been well-documented since his playing days, and especially after the release of The Last Dance.
Per McGrath, Jordan’s involvement added $500 million of market value to the company due to the leap in shares. As a cultural icon, Jordan just adds so much to the brand that no other athlete can match.
With the Jordan brand still successful decades after its launch, he has been one of the most financially successful athletes that the United States has seen in his post-retirement days. While his transcendent play certainly had something to do with that decades ago, the fact that the brand has stood the test of time speaks to his business acumen.
Jordan knows how to market a business and draw people in, and with sports betting becoming legal in more places, DraftKings certainly has the opportunity to seize market share. With a savvy adviser like Jordan, the company may be able to break away from FanDuel and establish itself as the premier option in the daily sports betting landscape.
The former Chicago Bull has not yet commented on the move, but with stake in a new company and plenty of opportunity ahead, it’s safe to say that he is pleased with the move.