The 55-year-old NBA legend and owner of the Charlotte Hornets became the most recent sports icon to invest in esports as a part of a $26 million Series C funding round in aXiomatic, the parent company of Team Liquid.
“The next generation of sports fans are esports fans,” said Ted Leonsis, Co-Executive Chairman of aXiomatic and Founder, Chairman, CEO and Majority Owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Esports is the fastest-growing sector in sports and entertainment, and aXiomatic is at the forefront of that growth. We are thrilled to welcome Michael and Declaration Capital to aXiomatic and look forward to working together on some truly cutting-edge opportunities.”
Declaration Capital, the family office of David M. Rubenstein, focuses on venture, growth and family-owned investments. Rubenstein is the co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group.
Joining the Group is NBA legend Michael Jordan, through his family office. In his thirteen seasons playing for the Chicago Bulls, Jordan led the team to six NBA Championship titles, in addition to creating his Jordan Brand (a division of Nike).
With a decade’s long reputation as one of the greatest athletes of all time, this is Jordan’s first step into the digital sports realm with an esports investment. Curtis Polk, the Managing Partner and Alternate Governor of Hornets Sports & Entertainment, and manager of the financial and business affairs of Michael Jordan and his related companies is also joining as an investor.
With this bolstered investor lineup, aXiomatic looks forward to powering even more engaging esports experiences, and strengthening existing partnerships, including Team Liquid, a global competitive esports team and premier esports media brand.
“From the beginning of our esports and video gaming journey aXiomatic has sought to bring together world-class talent in its investor group. We are extremely excited to welcome these esteemed investors into the aXiomatic and Team Liquid family and look forward to their valuable and unique perspectives,” said aXiomatic CEO and co-founder, Bruce Stein.
MJ used to play arcade games.
Now he’s investing into people playing video games.
The times they are a changin’