Updated: DraftKings names basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan as special advisor to the company’s board Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · September 2, 2020 at 4:01 pm Basketball legend Michael Jordan is becoming a special advisor to the board of sports betting provider DraftKings, which caused a jump in the company’s share price Wednesday. Jordan, who won six championships as a player with the Chicago Bulls and is currently the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, will receive an undisclosed equity stake in the company. Boston-based DraftKings said Jordan would immediately “provide strategic and creative input to the board of directors on company strategy, product development, inclusion, equity and belonging, marketing activities and other key initiatives.” DraftKings Sportsbook currently offers mobile and retail betting in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. “Michael Jordan is among the most important figures in sports and culture, who forever redefined the modern athlete and entrepreneur,” DraftKings Chairman and CEO 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.” Shares in DraftKings, which are traded on the Nasdaq, closed at $39.90 Wednesday, up $2.97 or 8.04%. The company went public in April. Jordan is the first former player to become the majority owner of an NBA franchise. His original investment in the Charlotte franchise was in 2010. He is associated with athletic equipment manufacturer and retailer NIKE, through his Jordan Brand of athletic shoes and apparel. His endorsement portfolio includes Gatorade, Upper Deck, and Hanes. Jordan was the subject of “The Last Dance,” a documentary series that aired on ESPN in the spring and is currently showing on Netflix. The series focused on Jordan’s basketball career with particular focus on his last season with the Chicago Bulls. One episode focused on Jordan’s gambling habits, which included betting on golf, cards, and a visit to Atlantic City. In a 1993 interview with Ahmad Rashad that was shown in the episode, Jordan insisted that he didn’t have a gambling problem. “I have a competition problem.” Jordan invested in Sportradar in 2015 along with NBA owners Ted Leonsis of the Washington Wizards and Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks. Sportradar provides data to sportsbook operators. “NBA team investors, including governors, are permitted to have involvement with sports betting and fantasy sports businesses, subject to safeguards required under league rules to prevent actual or perceived conflicts of interest,” an NBA spokesperson told the Associated Press Wednesday. On Wednesday, before the Jordan announcement, Truist Securities gaming analyst Barry Jonas initiated coverage of DraftKings with a hold rating and a $39 price target. “DraftKings was the first pure-play public online sports betting company to attack the burgeoning U.S. market, which appears to have a sizable multi-year ramp ahead,” Jonas said. “While DraftKings could still be a long-term leader, its stock price leaves little room for error.” Jordan’s interest in DraftKings is not expected to affect the Hornets’ presence on the sports betting site. The NBA agreed to a multiyear deal about a year ago to make DraftKings an official sports betting operator. The NBA has several similar arrangements, including one with DraftKings’ longtime daily fantasy sports rival FanDuel, and struck a first-of-its-kind deal with MGM Resorts International in 2018 to be compensated for providing official data as a way for those casinos to determine outcomes of various bets. That differs from the way Golden Nugget casinos, owned by Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, are permitted to handle games involving his NBA club. Golden Nugget sports books in Nevada, New Jersey, and Mississippi can accept NBA wagers, but cannot for games involving the Rockets. (Associated Press contributed to this story) Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.