Basketball legend Michael Jordan will join the Boston sports betting company DraftKings as a special adviser, providing “strategic and creative input” to the board of directors in exchange for a stake in the company.
Jordan will advise it on “product development, diversity, equity and belonging, marketing activities and other key initiatives,” DraftKings said Wednesday.
“Michael Jordan is among the most important figures in sports and culture, who forever redefined the modern athlete and entrepreneur,” DraftKings’ chief executive, Jason Robins, said in a statement. “The strategic counsel and business acumen Michael brings to our board is invaluable, and I am excited to have him join our team.”
The company did not say the size of the ownership interest that Jordan will receive in exchange for his role, which begins immediately. But as of Wednesday evening, the company had not filed regulatory documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would be required if the NBA great took a stake of 10 percent or more.
DraftKings, one of Boston’s relatively rare homegrown consumer technology companies, went public in the spring and has seen its stock perform well as investors look for ways to buy into the growing market for legalized sports betting. Shares of the company closed up more than 8 percent following the announcement.
For Jordan, the relationship with DraftKings helps formalize a long-held interest in gambling. He has been known to wager on golf, card games, and other propositions. Netflix and ESPN’s recent documentary series on Jordan’s time with the Chicago Bulls, “The Last Dance,” showed him wagering with members of his security detail on who could toss a coin closer to a wall.
During his career, Jordan faced questions about his gambling, which he described as an extension of his fiercely competitive nature: “I can stop gambling. I have a competition problem,” the star said in a 1993 interview.
Sports betting has become increasingly mainstream in the past few years, following a 2018 ruling by the US Supreme Court that cleared the way for states in addition to Nevada to legalize betting on games. Though DraftKings offers daily fantasy sports games in Massachusetts, state lawmakers have not decided whether to authorize sports betting here.
Jordan, a billionaire, has had an active business career since his retirement that has made him one of the wealthiest Black people in America. He is majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, owns restaurants and car dealerships, and continues to earn substantial money from his relationship with Nike and its enduring Air Jordan line. Forbes reported this year that Jordan is the richest athlete of all time.