Kevin Durant has thrown his name in the hat of elite people who own part of a sports team. The announcement became official on Monday that Kevin Durant secured a stake in the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer.
Side note: Imagine if he did this a summer ago before free agency, the world would’ve gone into a frenzy with the belief he would be going to the Sixers
Durant purchased 5% of the Union, with an option to secure another 5% at a later date if he chooses to do so. KD is not the first professional athlete to buy a stake in another sports team. Lebron James owns a small stake in Liverpool, members of the Premier League in England. James Harden and Russell Wilson also own stake in teams that are members of Major League Soccer. Harden has stake in the Houston Dynamo, and Wilson in the Seattle Sounders.
The deal is kind of all-inclusive for KD. It will serve as a partnership with Thirty Five Ventures, the philanthropic entity run by Durant and his business partner Rich Kleiman. Acquiring a soccer team is Durant’s attempt to globalize his brand through one of the most popular sports on the globe. KD will also use this opportunity to have his charity Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, work closely with the pro soccer club.
The Union are currently valued at over $325 million, Durant owning 5% means his stake is worth just over $16.25 million.
“I’ve been a fan of the sport, and then seeing how fast the popularity of the league was growing, seeing more fans pop up in different cities around the country, and then seeing how these franchises impact the city’s businesses and people individually was very intriguing,” Durant told ESPN in an exclusive interview.
Jay Sugarman, the majority owner of the Union, is very excited to have Durant on board.
“Having Kevin and his team joining in a really significant capacity gives us something special, something unique,” Sugarman said. “He’s a champion and a sports icon, but he’s also a philanthropist and a community icon. He brings exactly what we need, that champion mentality on the field, but also that impact off the field.”
Durant still has ambitions of owning an NBA team one day, but for obvious reason, that will have to wait until his playing days are long over.