From bitcoin exchange to cannabis brands, professional athletes have been benefiting from being early investors in high-profile private companies that are levered to emerging verticals.
Former NBA star Al Harrington was an early mover in the US cannabis industry and owns Viola, a cannabis brand which is quickly becoming a leading brand in major state markets. We are favorable on the trend of athletes that are investing in leading cannabis brands and operators. We believe the trend will become more significant in the coming years and will monitor how athlete backed companies perform.
The most recent athletes to enter the legal cannabis industry are National Basketball Association stars John Wall and Carmelo Anthony. The NBA all-stars invested in California-based LEUNE in a financing round that included NBA agent Rich Paul, entertainer La La Anthony, music manager Anthony Saleh, and venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital.
LEUNE stated that it plans to use the capital for marketing and expanding its products as the brand plans to capitalize on the increasing number of states that are legalizing recreational cannabis.
During the last two years, the legal cannabis movement has gained considerable traction in the US. New York became the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis and we expect the legalization trend to be a major catalyst for the domestic market.
Last year, Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) (CGC) acquired a majority ownership stake in BioSteel Sports Nutrition, a leading producer of sports nutrition products. Since then, the beverage has been forming agreements with high-profile professional basketball teams and star athletes.
After making the investment, BioSteel has become the official drink of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, and Toronto Raptors. The beverage has also formed strategic relationships with star athletes like Patrick Mahomes, Luka Doncic, Ezekiel Elliott, and DeAndre Hopkins.
We are favorable on how the cannabis industry is becoming mainstream and this is a trend that is just getting started. The initial influx of athletes that are entering the sector is just the tip of the iceberg as it relates to investing in the cannabis industry and we will be monitoring how these brands gain traction at the consumer level.
If you are interested in learning about athletes that have invested in cannabis businesses, please send an email to email@example.com with the subject “Athlete Backed Cannabis Companies” to be added to our distribution list.
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