Dwyane Wade likes to take business risks, and now he’s started on NFTs – Up News Info

Former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade speaks to the audience during his jersey retirement ceremony at the American Airlines Arena on February 22, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Michael Reaves | Getty Images

Dwyane Wade likes to take risks when it comes to business.

The retired triple NBA champion has invested in media companies and consumer products. Wade, 40, has bought a stake in two sports teams and is hosting a TV show. Wade is also taking a chance with the volatile NFT market.

“I’ve always taken risks,” Wade told CNBC in an interview. “I’ve always been a guy who did things a little differently than everyone else.”

Wade is working with Budweiser Zero on an NFT collection that goes on sale on May 24th. Wade co-founded the non-alcoholic, sugar-free beverage in 2020. The NFTs will sell for $ 180 each, giving customers the chance to win prizes, including autographs. Wade sneakers and a chance to watch a Utah Jazz game with him. Wade is a minority owner of the NBA franchise.

“It’s an opportunity to be part of a young brand trying to build a fan base and deliver amazing experiences,” he said, calling the NFT collection another opportunity for fans. “to do something unique and cool”.

Still, the NFT collection unfolds during a bearish cycle for digital assets. Daily NFT sales have fallen by more than 90% since September 2021, according to The Wall Street Journal. It also comes amid a sell-off of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.

But Wade does not hesitate to try his luck in space.

“If you look at my basketball career, my business career became very similar,” he said.

Wade’s crucial business decision

Wade, who retired from basketball in 2019, earned nearly $ 200 million in earnings over the course of his 16-year NBA career, according to Spotrac, a website that tracks sports contacts. Forbes estimates he earns $ 17 million a year in endorsements.

“It’s different,” Wade said when asked about retirement. Wade said he figured out how to apply “the same things that made me a special athlete” to his post-pandemic career.

He set the tone for his years after retirement with a crucial business decision at the height of his career.

As a rookie in 2003, Wade signed with the sneaker brand Converse. Then he took a big step toward Nike’s Michael Jordan brand in 2009, pairing him with other NBA stars Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, among others.

Then, in 2012, the Chinese sportswear company contacted Li-Ning Wade to launch their own school line. They offered him a shareholding. Wade, who called the offer “the most significant deal from a business perspective”, seized the opportunity and left the Jordan brand to Li-Ning.

“Thank you for making the plan,” Wade told Jordan. “I will try to make my own version of it.”

Jordan, in turn, told Wade that he “understands and respects” the decision, according to Wade.

Finally, in 2018, Wade Li-Ning signed a lifetime contract for an undisclosed amount. Young NBA stars like New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum and Miami Heat striker Jimmy Butler joined him. Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell has also signed with the sneaker line.

“It’s a slow building,” Wade said. “Athletes take risks by doing something a little different.”

He added: “I’m not trying to recreate anything,” Wade explained. “I’m trying to have a sneaker and apparel company that players have worn for many years. I want to build something that is a legacy for my family.”

Dwayne Wade

Issac Baldizon | NBAE | Getty Images

Based on momentum

Wade continued to venture into new areas of focus after his retirement.

Wade started a winery called “Wade Cellars”. He owns a stake in the media company Players TV. He and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, co-founded Proudly, a company that makes baby products. He said the startup “was born out of distress”.

Wade said: “We have a 3-year-old daughter and go to 80 different stores to buy products. We said, ‘It does not work for us. How can we build what works for us – our world’s minorities and communities?’ ”

In April, Proudly released its range of products, including baby wash and lotion. The company will eventually offer diapers.

On the sports owner front, Wade also took a small stake in the NBA’s Utah Jazz in April 2021, joining Blackstone director David Blitzer as co-owner of MLS club Real Salt Lake. Wade did not disclose the value of his bets, but said it was a small percentage.

Wade said becoming the majority team owner was “the ultimate goal” for him. However, there may be limits to his risk appetite in this scenario.

“But maybe I will go through this process and say, ‘No, you do not want that headache,'” he said.

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