NBA star Kevin Durant buys stake in women’s soccer team
NOTBA player Kevin Durant expands its portfolio of sports franchise owners. According to Sports Illustratedthe Brooklyn Nets forward has acquired a stake in the National Women’s Soccer League team Gotham FC.
The investment was made through Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures brand; a venture capital firm he co-founded with Rich Kleiman which merges investment, media and philanthropy. The New Jersey-based team has been part of the NWSL since the league’s inception in 2012. Gotham FC have become one of the top contenders in women’s professional soccer, winning their first playoff game in seven years in 2020 The team triumphed in their regular season opener this year and are set to make their home debut at Red Bull Arena in Harrison on May 14. They will face NC Courage.
Durant and Kleiman’s investment is exemplary of their dedication to supporting and amplifying women’s sport. Through their company, they have cultivated a partnership with the Just Women’s Sports platform, and they are also on the board of Athletes Unlimited.
“In order to grow women’s sports, fans need to see how great the games are, and they shouldn’t have to look hard to do that,” the two-time NBA champion explained in an interview. “Just Women’s Sports creates an indispensable platform centered around game and player highlights and analysis that shows fans exactly how good these players are and why they are worth watching.”
News of the investment comes two years after Kleiman and Durant became co-owners of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union team.
There has been a surge of athletes blazing trails in the sports property space. Retired NFL running back Marshawn Lynch recently became co-owner of the Seattle Kraken NHL team. NBA player Giannis Antetokounmpo invested in the Milwaukee Brewers of MLB. retired basketball star Dwyane Wade bought a stake in the Utah Jazz.
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