Basketball icon Michael Jordan is to take an equity interest in DraftKings, in exchange for becoming a special advisor to the operator’s board of directors.
In his new role, Jordan will provide guidance and strategic advice to DraftKings’ board on key business initiatives such as company strategy, product development, diversity, equity and belonging, and marketing.
Jordan, an National Basketball Association Hall of Fame inductee, and six-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, is also currently chairman of Hornets Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Charlotte Hornets NBA franchise.
The value of Jordan’s equity interest in DraftKings was not disclosed.
“Michael Jordan is among the most important figures in sports and culture, who forever redefined the modern athlete and entrepreneur,” DraftKings co-founder and chief executive, 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.”
Jordan is already indirectly involved in the US betting market, having invested in sports data specialist Sportradar in 2015.
That deal, which also saw entrepreneur and Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban invest in the business, resulted in Jordan taking a seat on the board of the supplier’s US subsidiary.
DraftKings’ share price jumped following the announcement, with its pre-market price rising as high as $43.37, up from an opening price of $37.05.
At the time of writing, DraftKings shares are trading at $41.50, up 12.4% on the pre-market opening price.
Last month, DraftKings reported a 27.1% year-on-year increase in revenue for the first half of 2020, though it also saw net loss widen to $230.1m for the six months to June 30.
Revenue totalled $159.5m, of which $139.1m came from online gaming – sports betting, online casino and daily fantasy sports – with this rising 14.6%.