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The entertainment and sports worlds continue to merge. Entrepreneurs Drake and Michael B. Jordan have unexpectedly joined forces. The two men have invested in Major League Pickleball (MLP), in particular, the Brooklyn Aces team.

While the multi-hyphenates are familiar with sports investing, the MLP move comes as a surprise to many. Both Drake and Jordan are part of a large group of investors aiming to raise the profile of the sport and the league. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the group of investors includes UnitedMasters founder Steve Stoute. 

The large group — including a mix of business, entertainment, sports, and tech CEOs and entrepreneurs — joins Boardroom and majority Brooklyn Aces owners Rich Kleiman and Kevin Durant in raising the status of the league and team.

“In addition to the marketing and creative acumen that Michael B. Jordan, Drake, and Steve Stoute bring to the table, our investor group includes some of the savviest entrepreneurs in the business,” Kleiman told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re looking forward to what our second season brings.”

This is not Drake’s first foray in the sports business arena.

Drake and Michael B. Jordan Are Co-Owners of a Pickleball Team
Credit: Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/Getty Images

While Drake may be new to MLP, he is not new to the sports industry. Per a November 2023 press release, Drake, Lebron James, and Naomi Osaka invested in StatusPRO. The company focuses on sports technology in the XR spaces. 

Along with his extreme passion and fandom for the Toronto Raptors, the rapper serves as a global ambassador for the team. Since 2013, Drake has launched a partnership between the Toronto Raptors and his OVO brand. The 37-year-old has provided jerseys to the team and has renamed the athletic center the OVO Athletic Center.

Michael B. Jordan has a love for sports.

Credit: Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

The “Creed” actor has nurtured a passion for sports. That love has led him to invest in various sports companies and teams.

According to People Magazine, Jordan — alongside actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney — took on a 24% equity stake in the Formula 1 team Alpine Racing. The stake is worth $218 million. This investment marked his first foray into the world of sports ownership, also making Jordan one of the few Black owners of a Formula 1 team. 

In December 2022, AfroTech also shared that Jordan became a minority shareholder of AFC Bournemouth, a football club in England. So, it’s only a matter of time before the actor adds a new investment to his portfolio.

Pickleball may seem like an uncommon investment, but it’s a smart move to invest in growing businesses. Major League Pickleball was founded in 2021 due to its growing popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league has 24 teams, split among premier and challenger levels. According to People Magazine, the MLP considers itself one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. 

Though it has not reached the same status as other sports leagues in the country, the MLP has only been in business for three years. The sport has multiple courts nationwide and can be played inside and outside.

In addition, more notable athletes, including Kevin Love, Draymond Green, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees, have invested in the league. With that in mind, the MLP can potentially build a cult-following, like other sport leagues.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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