Investor Athlete, Athlete Investor
Today’s news reports that Michael Jordan and Mark Cuban are co-investing in Sportradar’s $44 Million dollar round. While this is Jordan’s first reported Venture investment, Silicon Valley has seen a number of athletes beating down the door to participate in the “tech boom” of the last 5 years. Here are a few notable sports stars who have bet on tech and been rewarded:
Since retiring from Basketball, Earvin “Magic” Johnson has been one of the most active investors and business men of recent note. At one point, Magic owned over 100 Starbucks locations. Magic has chosen to handle most of his venture class investments as part of Magic Johnson Enterprises (estimated to be worth over 1 Billion), Detroit Venture Partners. Johnson also participated in the $2.15 Billion purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott is no stranger to the investing scene. Lott invested in Yardbarker (acquired by Fox Sports in 2010) and Yammer (acquired by Microsoft in 2012). Lott also spends time as the Founder of All Stars Helping Kids, a Bay area non profit committed to serving low income youth.
A relative newcomer to tech investments, Williams has invested in multiple rounds of the image sharing company Mobli, where she is joined by the celeb likes of Tobey Maguire and Leo DiCaprio. Williams has also invested in Andreesen Horowitz back Mayvenn, a company that sells hair (yes, hair) directly to consumers.
Despite his investment in 2000 of MVP.com when The Great One pooled money with Michael Jordan and John Elway, Gretzky has managed to wisely approach building wealth. Touting that he “doesn’t invest in anything he doesn’t understand”, Gretzky prefers to make small, conservative investments, even avoiding the Stock Market. With an estimated net worth of north of $200 Million, perhaps #99 knows what he’s talking about.