Hall-of-Fame basketball legend Michael Jordan will be an investor and special adviser to the board of sports-betting company DraftKings, the company announced Wednesday.
The deal sent shares of DraftKings roughly 6% higher in early trading. Jordan will take an undisclosed equity stake in exchange for “providing guidance and strategic advice,” the company said in a statement.
The Charlotte Hornets chairman and former Bulls player will also inform DraftKings’ board on strategy, product development and inclusion initiatives.
Jordan won six MVP awards and six championships during his playing career. He also became the nation’s leading commercial pitchman during his career for products including Nike, Gatorade, Hanes and others. He has continued to earn tens of billions from endorsements more than a decade after his playing career ended in 1998.
There’s an appropriateness in Jordan joining a sports betting company as an adviser, given that he is a notorious gambler. Episode six of the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” highlighted some of Jordan’s more famous gambling stories, including his trip to an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino in the middle of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals.
DraftKings’ shares have more than tripled since the company went public earlier this year, and the company was doing well before the pandemic which halted most live sports events and, as a result, betting. In May, it reported a $68.9 million first quarter loss.
At the time, DraftKings said in its earnings release that it did not anticipate that the coronavirus outbreak would impact its financial results in 2021 or change its long-term plans.
— CNN Business’ Chris Isidore contributed to this report.