A notable partnership
Legendary basketball player Michael Jordan has been named a special advisor to the DraftKings board of directors in return for an undisclosed equity stake in the company. The new role is effective immediately.
Jordan will be offering “strategic and creative input” to the other board members relating to “strategy, product development, diversity, equity and belonging, marketing activities and other key initiatives.”
The strategic counsel and business acumen Michael brings to our board is invaluable”
Speaking about getting Jordan on board, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said: “The strategic counsel and business acumen Michael brings to our board is invaluable, and I am excited to have him join our team.”
No conflict of interest
After the news broke on Wednesday, DraftKings’ share price rose significantly, finishing up about 8% on the day. As Jordan currently owns the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, there is a question of a potential conflict of interest.
An NBA statement clarified: “NBA team investors, including governors, are permitted to have involvement with sports betting & fantasy sports businesses, subject to safeguards required under league rules to prevent actual or perceived conflicts of interest.”
Michael Jordan is one of the best basketball players to ever play the game, leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championship titles and earning five Most Valuable Player awards. He has also become a successful businessman; according to figures from Forbes in May, Jordan currently has a net worth in the region of $2.1bn.
His fascination with gambling is not a secret. In the recent hit documentary The Last Dance, co-produced by Netflix and ESPN, Jordan openly talked about his gambling habits over the years.
Latest big move
The deal with Jordan is the latest high-profile move by the sports betting company this year. DraftKings went public in April through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corporation and SBTech.
DraftKings has been steadily extending its reach across the US
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic leading to mass cancellations of sporting events across the world, DraftKings has been steadily extending its reach across the US regulated sports betting market. It currently has a sports betting presence in ten different states and has official betting partnerships with the NBA, MLB, and PGA Tour. The operator is also getting into the online casino space, recently launching in Pennsylvania.