Kawhi Anthony Leonard, born on June 29, 1991, in California, has established himself as a formidable figure in the National Basketball Association (NBA). His career, characterized by remarkable skill and determination, includes significant tenures with the San Antonio Spurs, the Toronto Raptors, and the Los Angeles Clippers. He is a two-time NBA champion, a five-time All-Star, and a five-time member of the All-NBA Team.
Leonard’s professional journey began with the 2011 NBA draft, where he was selected 15th overall by the Indiana Pacers and subsequently traded to the San Antonio Spurs, a move that significantly shaped his career. With the Spurs, Leonard played a pivotal role in leading the team to two NBA Championship Finals, achieving victory in 2014 and earning the MVP title.
In 2015, he was recognized as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, underscoring his defensive capabilities. Leonard’s debut in the NBA All-Star Game in 2016 further highlighted his status within the league. After seven seasons with the Spurs, Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2018. He joined the Los Angeles Clippers as a free agent in July 2019 on a three-year, $103 million contract, and signed a four-year, $176.3 million extension in August 2021.
Leonard is a significant shareholder in X2 Performance, an energy drink company. He joined the company through an equity deal, the terms of which have not been disclosed. As part of the deal, Leonard also acquired two seats on the company’s board of directors.
X2 Performance lured Leonard in a Series D funding round in 2020, that raised roughly $14 million. The company aims to raise an additional $3 million for brand and product development.
X2 Performance is known for its natural ingredients and clean products. Their products include pre-workout supplements and energy drinks and are consumed by more than 20 major professional sports teams, including the NBA and National Football League.
Leonard is very hands-on with X2’s marketing approach, as the face of the brand. Leonard has praised the momentum X2 is building as it enters a very crowded energy drink market.
Apart from Leonard, other high-profile athletes like Super Bowl Champion Lavonte David of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have invested in this rapidly growing brand. X2 Performance has been “NSF Certified for Sport”, which verifies that products contain no contaminants, prohibited substances, or masking agents.
Leonard has made several investments in real estate and owns three luxurious homes in California, worth a total of $37 million.
Leonard bought a $13.3-million, 13,000-square-foot home in Rancho Santa Fe, California. It is a Tuscan-style estate set on a lot of more than five acres which has been renovated and updated in modern style. The house has a workout facility, a home theater, a gourmet kitchen, two offices, and a wine vault. It also has seven bedroom suites and 10.5 bathrooms. The outdoor area consists of a multi-section pool with a raised spa, a conversation/fire pit, waterfall features, Baja decks, various patio areas, and a tennis court.
Leonard also bought a $17 million home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles. The house is 12,000 square feet and includes a 10-person movie theater and a 960-bottle wine cellar. The home was originally designed for Ryan Kavanaugh, the former CEO of Relativity Media. It was completed in 2018, put on sale in 2019, and Leonard purchased it in 2021.
Leonard also owns a $6.7-million penthouse at the Ritz Carlton next to Staples Center, boasting 4,280 square feet with amenities like glass walls, an exercise room, and iPad-controlled smart features.
These properties not only serve as residences for Leonard but also represent significant investments that contribute to his wealth. Leonard’s real estate portfolio is a testament to his financial acumen and success both on and off the court.
After a stalemate over long-term extension talks with Jordan Brand, Leonard agreed to a multi-year shoe deal with New Balance in 2018. His first sneaker, released in 2019, achieved remarkable success, selling out in Canada in under a minute during its debut ahead of a crucial game against the Sixers
Leonard has released three signature shoe lines with New Balance. His first official signature shoe was the KAWHI and this was followed by the KAWHI II and the KAWHI III. The KAWHI III debuted in the ‘Alpha Predator’ colorway right on the basketball court in 2023. The shoe was designed to reflect Leonard’s dominance on the court. It features a lightweight upper, full-length FuelCell cushioning, and is built with the creativity of Leonard in mind.
Leonard is very hands-on with the marketing approach for his shoe lines. His image and likeness are used to expand the brand. The KAWHI III ‘Alpha Predator’ is available on New Balance’s website and additional colorways will be launching throughout the season.
Through his partnership with New Balance, Leonard is helping the American shoe company establish itself as a legitimate player in the performance sneaker game.
Partnership and Sponsorship Deals
Leonard has several endorsement and sponsorship deals that contribute significantly to his wealth. Here are some of them:
New Balance: Leonard has a multi-year sponsorship deal with New Balance, an athletic footwear and fitness apparel company. He became the face of New Balance’s basketball division in 2018. He has released three signature shoe lines with the company.
Nike: Before joining New Balance, Leonard was one of the faces of Nike, and had a deal with the Air Jordan brand. However, he declined Nike’s offer of a 4-year contract worth $20 million.
Cargo Jet Airways: Leonard signed a partnership deal with Ontario-based Cargo Jet Airways in 2019, after leading the Toronto Raptors to an NBA Championship.
Honey: Leonard has an endorsement deal with Honey, a subsidiary of PayPal. Honey is a browser extension that automatically applies online coupons on eCommerce websites. The Honey advertisement in February 2020 was Leonard’s first commercial.