Michael Jordan Joining DraftKings as Special Adviser

Michael Jordan Joining DraftKings as Special Adviser
© USA Today

Sports icon Michael Jordan, owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, is joining DraftKings as a special adviser to the company’s board of directors.

Jordan will receive an equity stake in the Boston-based gaming company to provide guidance and advice to the board, according to a news release Wednesday. DraftKings went public in April and saw its shares rise sharply in premarket trading Wednesday after the announcement.

“Michael Jordan is among the most important figures in sports and culture, who forever redefined the modern athlete and entrepreneur,” Jason Robins, DraftKings co-founder and CEO, said in the news release. “The strategic counsel and business acumen Michael brings to our board is invaluable, and I am excited to have him join our team.”

Jordan’s position with the company is effective immediately. He is expected to provide input on product development, diversity, equity and belonging, marketing activities, and other key company initiatives. The size of his equity stake was not disclosed.

Jordan’s NBA Career

Jordan, the NBA Hall of Famer and six-time NBA Finals MVP, acquired controlling interest in the Hornets in 2010. He has become one of the NBA’s most influential owners after his playing career.

He worked with NBA owners and players last week as they were deciding on whether or not to resume the season after the shooting of Jacob Blake by Wisconsin police officers, according to ESPN.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jordan grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, and won an NCAA championship with the University of North Carolina in 1982 before entering the 1984 NBA Draft. He spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Bulls, winning six NBA titles, before ending his career with the Washington Wizards.

He averaged 30.1 points a game for his career and made 14 All-Star teams. Jordan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Jordan, 57, is an investor, along with fellow NBA owners Ted Leonsis of the Wizards and Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, in Sportradar, the global data supplier to gaming companies worldwide, according to published reports.

DraftKings Moves

DraftKings completed its $3.3 billion merger with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp., on April 23 and went public the next day, trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “DKNG.”

Jordan is not the first professional sports team owner to have a stake in DraftKings. In an SEC filing when it was selling shares recently, others identified as having equity in DraftKings included the NFL's Robert Kraft (New England Patriots) and Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys), and the NBA's Jim Dolan (New York Knicks).

The company went live in Illinois on Aug. 5 at the DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, about 300 miles away from Chicago, where Jordan starred.

DraftKings ended the second quarter with $1.2 billion in cash and no debt, but reported a quarterly loss of $161.4 million ($0.55 per share).

Jordan is an avid golfer. On July 28, the PGA Tour announced DraftKings as its first “official betting operator,” expanding their partnership agreement.

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