NBA legend Michael Jordan and his son are preparing to launch a platform on the Solana blockchain on which athletes and fans can interact with each other, with the six-time champion expanding his presence in the $2.3 trillion cryptocurrency market.
The HEIR platform from Jordan and his son, Jeffrey, is being backed in part by Thrive Capital, whose lineup of investments include retail trading app Robinhood, Instagram and work messaging service Slack. The platform has raised $10.6 million in seed funding, according to reports Thursday.
HEIR said it’s aiming to usher in a new era of digital culture, with athletes as well as influential people in the worlds of entertainment and technology, participating on the platform.
“With new frontiers in web3, the HEIR platform will deliver economic value to original culture creators and those who consume it early with new decentralized capabilities that drive ownership. We believe in the power of ownership and legacy for all,” HEIR said on its website. Web3 refers to the next iteration of the internet that will feature immersive social interaction.
Michael Jordan, who played for 15 years in the NBA and is the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets, already has a stake in the quickly-growing cryptocurrency market. He took part in a $305 million funding round for investment in Dapper Labs, the startup behind the virtual trading-card platform NBA Top Shot.
HEIR is currently in invite-only mode, with the site signing up athletes as it builds out the product. HEIR will connect athletes and supporters through Huddles, which provides membership-based access to digital assets and exclusive content including videos.
Michael Jordan is serving as a strategic adviser and partner to the HEIR platform, his son, Jeffrey, told Variety.
“We meet with him regularly, and he provides guidance and insightful ideas… When he was playing, he didn’t have the same tools to connect with his fanbase or monetize that,” Jeffrey said.
Other athletes who’ve been diving into the crypto market with business projects include NBA star Kevin Durant. The Brooklyn Nets player and his company this week signed a new multiyear deal with cryptocurrency platform Coinbase Global.
NFL legend Tom Brady is using his digital memorabilia platform, Autograph, to launch a new set of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, that focuses on his early career moments.