Sports Business : NBA legend Michael Jordan takes stake in fantasy sports company DraftKings

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DraftKings Inc said on Wednesday basketball legend Michael Jordan will take an undisclosed equity stake in the fantasy sports and gambling company and join its board as a special advisor.

Shares of the company jumped more than 13 per cent to 41.86 dollars in pre-market trading. Jordan, a six-time NBA champion who led the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty in the 1990s, is a Basketball Hall of Famer who owns the Charlotte Hornets.

His career was back in the spotlight this year in the documentary “The Last Dance,” which garnered a large television audience. An autographed and well-worn pair of his Nike Air Jordan sneakers fetched a record 560,000 dollars at an auction in May.

Jordan has agreed to take an equity interest in DraftKings and will provide strategic and creative advice on areas including product development and marketing, the sports betting company said on Wednesday.

DraftKings was taken public earlier this year by an entity founded by Hollywood executives Jeff Sagansky and Harry Sloan in a deal that valued the company at 3.3 billion dollars.

There has been long-term optimism in the growing market for US sports gambling, even as the Covid-19 pandemic has led to broadcast networks and sports leagues either postponing or rescheduling games and seasons