NBA player Kevin Durant is expanding his sports franchise ownership portfolio. According to Sports Illustrated, the Brooklyn Nets forward has acquired a stake in the National Women’s Soccer League’s Gotham FC team.
The investment was made through Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures imprint, a venture capital company he co-founded with Rich Kleiman that merges investing, media and philanthropy. The team based in New Jersey has been part of the NWSL since the league was founded in 2012. The Gotham FC has emerged into a top contender within women’s professional soccer, winning their first playoff match in seven years back in 2020. This year, the team triumphed in its regular-season opener and is slated to make its home debut at Harrison’s Red Bull Arena on May 14. They’ll compete against the NC Courage.
Durant and Kleiman’s investment exemplifies their dedication to supporting and amplifying women’s sports. Through their company, they’ve cultivated a partnership with the platform Just Women’s Sports, and they also are part of Athletes Unlimited’s board.
“In order to grow women’s sports, fans need to see how great the games are, and they shouldn’t have to look hard to do that,” the two-time NBA champion shared in an interview. “Just Women’s Sports is creating a much-needed platform centered around game and player highlights and analysis that shows fans exactly how good these players are and why they’re worth watching.”
News about the investment comes two years after Kleiman and Durant became part-owners of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union team.
There has been a wave of athletes charting paths in the sports ownership space. Retired NFL running back Marshawn Lynch recently became part-owner of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken team. NBA player Giannis Antetokounmpo invested in the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers. Retired basketball star Dwyane Wade purchased an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz.