Michael Jordan, the NBA immortal who is chairman of the Charlotte Hornets, has taken an equity stake in sports betting firm DraftKings and become a special advisor to the company’s board of directors.
In a press release, the company said Jordan will be “providing guidance and strategic advice to the board of directors on key business initiatives.” Terms of his investment were not disclosed.
Jordan has been a more visible figure in 2020 than in just about any time during his two decades of retirement. His legacy captivated viewers during COVID-19 when ESPN aired The Last Dance. More recently, as NBA players took a stand for social justice by refusing to play games, he played a crucial role in facilitating talks between players and owners.
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The Jordan news sent DraftKings stock up more than 7% to $39.60 in early trading Wednesday.
DraftKings, founded eight years ago, went public in April after a merger brought together Draft Kings, SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. The last of the three companies was founded by Hollywood veterans Harry Sloan, onetime CEO of MGM, and Jeff Sagansky, former head of CBS. Sloan is vice chairman of DraftKings.
The company has thrived on the shift toward legalized sports betting, in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that has thus far enabled more than a dozen states to make it legal.
“Michael Jordan is among the most important figures in sports and culture, who forever redefined the modern athlete and entrepreneur,” said Jason Robins, DraftKings co-founder and CEO. “The strategic counsel and business acumen Michael brings to our board is invaluable, and I am excited to have him join our team.”
In his advisory role, Jordan will provide strategic and creative input to the board on company strategy, product development, inclusion, equity and belonging, marketing activities and other key initiatives.
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