Basketball star Kevin Durant is expanding his imprint in the sports ownership space. According to Bloomberg, the two-time NBA champion’s venture capital firm has invested in the Premier Lacrosse League.
The league—which had its inaugural season in 2019—was created by professional lacrosse player Paul Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil. The Premier Lacrosse League is the first lacrosse league to use a tour model that brings the sport’s top players to different cities in an effort to introduce lacrosse to new markets. The Premier Lacrosse League is comprised of eight teams. Since its inception in 2018, the league has received capital from major corporations that sit at the intersection of entertainment and sports, including the Creative Artists Agency, Arctos Sports Partners, The Chernin Group, Blum Capital, and The Raine Group.
The latest collective of investors includes Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures—which he co-founded with businessman Rich Kleiman—and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. The investments will be instrumental in supporting the league’s expansion.
“Our purpose, in addition to growing the company, is getting out in front of the opportunity to grow the sport internationally,” Paul shared in a statement, according to Bloomberg.
News about Thirty-Five Ventures’ investment in the Premier Lacrosse League comes months after it was announced Durant acquired an ownership stake in the National Women’s Soccer League’s Gotham FC team. It comes two years after he and Kleiman joined Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union ownership group. Adweek reported Thirty-Five Ventures’ investment portfolio includes over 100 companies across sports, tech, and other industries.
“When you combine two people’s experiences, and their vision is the same, it’s very powerful,” Kleiman shared while discussing his business partnership with Durant. “Because we each had our own experiences, both in life and in business, we both had a vision of what we wanted to do.”
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