Michael Jordan, who’s one of the world’s most famous gamblers, is teaming up with one of the world’s most famous gambling services, DraftKings. The championship-winning, all-star billionaire now has equity in DraftKings after becoming a special adviser for the well-known sports betting and fantasy sports company. The news is nothing but good news for DraftKings.
The Jordan Deal
How can a betting service look more like the best in today’s world? By teaming up with the best, like Jordan. The CEO and co-founder of DraftKings, Jason Robins, said in a statement what MJ brings to the company is “invaluable”:
“Michael Jordan is among the most important figures in sports and culture, who forever redefined the modern athlete and entrepreneur. The strategic counsel and business acumen Michael brings to our board is invaluable, and I am excited to have him join our team.”
Jordan will “provide guidance and strategic advice to DraftKings’ board of directors,” per the press release. The betting company didn’t comment on how much equity Jordan now has in the company.
The Stock Bump
Jordan joins The Walt Disney Company as another giant with equity in DraftKings. As a result of the basketball star’s involvement in the company, their stock went up 8%. While speaking with CNBC, DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish commented more thoroughly on Jordan’s role:
“Who wouldn’t want Michael Jordan around the table advising you on strategy, talking with the board, helping with initiatives throughout our company? He’s obviously the top of probably everyone’s list of marketing geniuses, branding geniuses who you’d want to collaborate with,” Kalish said. “We’re just getting started, but I think it’s going to be a tremendous, additive piece to the overall success of DraftKings over the next several years…. Every way that we can possibly work with Michael, in every aspect, we’re going to be doing that.”
Jordan and Gambling
The all-star, famously, loves to gamble. The press tried to make a controversy out of nothing about it during the height of Jordan’s fame, but as he explained during The Last Dance, he just enjoys gambling now and then:
“I never bet on games. I only bet on myself, and that was golf. Do I like to play blackjack? Yeah, I like playing blackjack. There’s no laws with that. The league did call me and asked questions about it. And I told them exactly what was happening.”
Jordan would allegedly bet during practices, and as shown in the ESPN series, and in the locker room. Jordan is still involved in the NBA; he’s a part of the Charlotte Hornets’ ownership group. According to a rep from the NBA (via ESPN), it’s okay Jordan is involved in DraftKings:
“NBA team investors, including governors, are permitted to have involvement with sports betting and fantasy sports businesses, subject to safeguards required under league rules to prevent actual or perceived conflicts of interest,” an NBA spokesperson told ESPN in an email.
Jordan: The Businessman
Jordan is the world’s richest athlete. The athlete has his famous sponsorship deals and collaborations, most famously with Nike. Air Jordan sales went up again after the debut of The Last Dance, which reignited the outpouring of love for the athlete. Right now, Jordan is estimated to have around $2.1 billion to his name.
Back in 2014, that was when the champ became a billionaire. After Jordan retired, his wealth went up considerably due to Nike’s Jordan Brand. The star has gotten sponsorships from the likes of Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Hanes, Gatorade, McDonald’s (which is hard to imagine Jordan eating), and Upper Deck. Jordan still works with many of these companies.