Six-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls, one of the living legends of American professional basketball, Michael Jordan is entering the metaverse.
The athlete has announced that he and his son Jeffrey have founded a tech startup, Heir, which has just closed its first $10 million funding round.
Heir, Michael Jordan’s startup on Solana
Heir would be a company that deals with connecting fans with their favourite sportsmen, all built on the Solana blockchain, with the creation of a token that would allow merchandising and interactions related to the sports world.
Jeffrey Jordan explained in an interview:
“What Heir Inc. is developing is purpose-built for a new era of athlete enterprise, opening the door for richer storytelling and deeper consumer engagement. The Jordan name has cultivated a loyal community for more than 35 years; the focus now is passing that legacy on to the next generation. We hope to continue to build and invest in businesses that bring that same reverence to the media and tech space”.
Jordan’s startup, which is expected to officially launch in early 2022, plans to build a consumer-facing community platform for athletes to connect with fans, as well as other lines of business, including an entertainment studio and consumer products
With a tweet on their profile, Solana announced the creation of Michael Jordan’s new startup on their blockchain.
— Solana (@solana) December 15, 2021
Sports and crypto an ever closer union
This is not Michael Jordan’s first initiative in the crypto space. In recent months he took part in a $305 million funding round from NBA producer Top Shot Dapper Labs, and participated in the $150 million Series C round in November for Mythical Games, a crypto gaming infrastructure producer.
Many other NBA stars, such as Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jaylen Clark, Spencer Dinwiddie have also auctioned NFTs of their feats. In October, the NBA signed a partnership agreement with the famous exchange Coinbase. Earlier this year, it partnered with Dapper Labs to sell digital cards of its stars, resulting in record sales of around $230 million.
Dapper Labs also recently signed a similar agreement with the NFL, the American football league.
In 2021, the world of cryptocurrency entered the world of formula one, with the Crypto.com exchange becoming the main sponsor.
Sorare, a company that has created a sort of digital fantasy football based on NFTs, has closed deals with 142 football clubs, as well as agreements with the Spanish La Liga and the German Bundesliga.
EA interested in NFTs for video games
This is also transferring into sports-related gaming. EA, the company behind the hugely popular football game Fifa, is seriously considering incorporating some NFT-related modes into its game.
The company’s chief executive, Andrew Wilson, told investors last month that he believes Fifa players want to see NFTs within the video game:
“[Players] want more modalities at play inside the game, which go beyond just straight 11-on-11 football”.