Home » Have you met NBA star Kyrie Irving’s business-savvy side?

Have you met NBA star Kyrie Irving’s business-savvy side?

The NBA star who has an acumen for business investments: A delve into the various business ventures we bet you did not know Irving owns

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

Kyrie Irving, the mercurial talent of the NBA, does not only impress on the basketball court but has also made significant strides and achievements as a perceptive investor and businessman. Born in Melbourne and raised on the courts of New Jersey, Irving’s journey from a Duke University standout to clinching an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 is well-known. He now currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks. He was named the Rookie of the Year after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. He is an eight-time All-Star and three-time member of the All-NBA Team.

Although, he is considered one of the best ball handlers of all time, what makes Irving stand out is his ability to venture into other worlds outside the realm of sports with ease, most notably the world of investments and business. He owns stakes in companies across various sectors like technology, beverages, and fashion, alongside innovative forays into cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). This his impressive portfolio is a testament to his acumen. This diversification and all roundedness have amplified his net worth to about $120 million while also highlighting his commitment to using his platform as a means for societal impact.

Among his astute investments, his most notable ones include his early stake in Beyond Meat, aligning with his personal health values, which saw remarkable returns following the company’s public listing. Also, Irving’s ability to combine his creative and business savvy natures was highlighted when he was involved in the creation and partial ownership of the “Uncle Drew” character, the main character from the renowned 2018 ‘Uncle Drew’ American sports comedy film, with Irving benefiting from both the endorsements and the character’s cinematic adaptation.

His partnership with Nike, yielding a lucrative signature shoe line, and the establishment of KAI Eleven Consulting, aimed at supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs, reflect a multifaceted approach to business. Through ventures such as PSD Underwear and SkullCandy, Irving has not just invested but has also embraced equity, ensuring his ventures align with his identity and values. Kyrie Irving, thus, emerges not merely as an athlete but as an example of how sports personalities can build long lasting legacies and empires beyond their realm of sport.

Kyrie’s partnership with KICKS CREW and ANTA that made ANTA a top performing basketball shoe

Kyrie is currently partnering with and investing in KICKS CREW, a top digital marketplace for genuine sneakers and apparel. He is an equity shareholder and also the Chief Community Officer of the Kicks Crew. This collaboration, marked by an 11 Days of Giving Initiative including an ANTA Shock Wave 5 sneaker giveaway, supports the mutual goal of making the sneaker marketplace more inclusive and enhancing community through sneaker culture. Kyrie’s role as the Chief Community Officer is centered around the mission of bringing all communities together through their love of sneaker culture to push forward unity and philanthropy. Since Irving’s partnership with Kicks Crew and Anta, Anta’s monthly market share of US basketball sneakers on the global sneaker marketplace made an unbelievable 600% spike. This notable increase started when Kyrie first wore the Shock Wave 5 on court. Today, Anta Sports Products is worth $30 billion.

Reaching out to entrepreneurs and minority owners through KAI Family Enterprise and a business consulting firm.

KAI Family Enterprise is a family business of which Kyrie is a distinguished member. The business involvements of the enterprise are varied, focusing notably on funding startups. Together alongside Lockstep Ventures, in 2021, launched KAI Eleven Consulting, LLC (KAI 11 Consulting), a business consulting firm created to help underrepresented entrepreneurs and minority owned businesses across a multitude of industries whilst providing them with programs and mentoring that give the business owners and personnel access to seasoned development coaches, area managers, and growth groups that offer roadmaps to scaling and cultivating efficiencies.

A timely investment in ‘BEYOND MEAT’

In 2019, Kyrie alongside other NBA Stars like DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul made strategic investments in Beyond Meat, a company specializing in plant-based burgers and sausages. Beyond Meat’s stock price dramatically rose from $25 at its initial public offering (IPO) to over $200 within a year, luckily Kyrie invested in the company before its public offering, showcasing the value of timely investments in sustainable and health-conscious companies.

Kyrie is a risk taker and has an acumen for investments.

Kyrie has ventured into the emerging cryptocurrency market with investments aimed at gaining from its high return potential. Despite the notable risks associated with cryptocurrencies, Irving’s deliberate and thoughtful investment strategy showcases his progressive and forward-looking mindset. Kyrie has also ventured into the Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) sphere, making investments across various NFT initiatives. This move is part of his broader investment approach, aiming to take advantage of the growing trend in digital assets. 

Uncle drew

Kyrie has a stake in the “Uncle Drew” character he created, and through this ownership, he receives profits from the character’s 2018 film adaptation, “Uncle Drew Film”, which grossed a cumulative $46.5 million in the box office.

His financial benefit from SKULLCANDY’s acquisition

SkullCandy is a company that delivers a decent variety of fashion-forward headphones that come in many unique colors to match the customer’s taste, style, and preferences. In 2016, when Kyrie Irving entered into a partnership with SkullCandy, he also gained an equity stake. This partnership with SkullCandy gave Kyrie a creative input on the brand’s products alongside his own signature line of headphones and accessories. Not long after, ScullCandy was acquired by Mill Road Capital for $196.9 million, making Skullcandy a private subsidiary of Mill Road Capital. This acquisition resulted in a significant financial benefit for Kyrie Irving.

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