Sports Business : NBA superstar Kevin Durant now owns minority stake in MLS team

National Basketball Association superstar Kevin Durant has been announced as a minority owner of Major League Soccer team Philadelphia Union. The Brooklyn Nets forward has purchased a five-per-cent ownership stake in the club, with the option to purchase an additional five per cent in the near future.

Terms were not disclosed but, according to Union majority owner Jay Sugarman, the team is now worth more than $325m. This makes Durant’s stake worth at least $16.25m.

“I’m excited to partner with the Philadelphia Union for years to come,” Durant said in a statement. “My team and I connected instantly with the Union coaching staff and leadership, as well as the team’s story.”

As part of the agreement, Durant and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, will work with the Union through their company Thirty Five Ventures on marketing opportunities that “will focus on growing the Union footprint in the sports world.”

“We set out to create a different type of partnership that isn’t simply a passive ownership stake, but real involvement across marketing and business development from the whole Thirty Five Ventures team,” Kleiman said in a statement. 

Durant will also work to improve Chester and Philadelphia communities through his Kevin Durant Charity Foundation.

Jay Sugarman, Union owner and CEO of real estate investment firm iStar, said Durant brings a community-first mindset and “combined with his competitive drive and forward-thinking mentality, we believe Kevin adds a key piece in reaching our ambitions for the club.”