Basketball superstar Kevin Durant, through his investment arm with his agent Rich Kleiman, has invested in the parent company behind the New York Subliners and New York Excelsior.
As well as obtaining a share in the company through their investment arm Thirty Five Ventures, Durant and Kleiman will serve as “creative partners” to the New York-based company. The amount invested was not disclosed at the time of publication.
As well as operating as a standalone brand in Valorant, Andbox owns and operates the Call of Duty League franchise New York Subliners and Overwatch League brand New York Excelsior. They’re hoping to increase brand awareness in the mainstream through this partnership.
It’s stated that the 32-year-old NBA star will collaborate with Andbox’s players in online tournaments and create custom apparel and content across their brands.
Andbox are looking to host live events in their home market once possible, including retail pop-ups, watch parties, and meet-and-greets. They’re also establishing branded gaming centres alongside a partnership with Vindex’s Belong Gaming Arenas.
- Read More: Envy Gaming raises $40m investment
“The passion that New York sports fans have has really hit home with me,” Durant said in a press release. “Andbox is bringing that same energy to esports here, and that’s something Thirty Five Ventures is very excited to be a part of.”
Other shareholders in Andbox include actor and producer Michael B. Jordan, former Turner president David Levy, GIPHY co-founder Adam Leibsohn, and Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou.
Welcome to the family Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman and @35Ventures.
— NYSL (@Subliners) March 15, 2021
“There is no bigger stage in the world to compete on than here in New York, and that’s what drives superstars like Kevin Durant here and thankfully to us, just as it did with Clayster, a back-to-back Call of Duty champion who joined us this offseason,” added Farzam Kamel, Andbox’s president.
This isn’t the first foray into esports for Durant, however. He was previously involved with the now-defunct Vision Esports, a major shareholder in Echo Fox. He invested alongside NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. and MLB’s St Loius Cardinals. The company was best known through its association with former athlete and actor Rick Fox.