When it comes to business, Dwyane Wade enjoys taking chances.
The three-time NBA champion has assets in media firms as well as consumer goods. Wade, 40, owns stock in two sports franchises and hosts a television show. Wade is also taking a risk in the very unpredictable NFT sector.
Wade told CNBC in an interview, “I’ve always taken chances.” “I’ve always been a man who does things differently than everyone else.”
Wade is working on an NFT collection with Budweiser Zero, which will be released on May 24. In the year 2020, Wade co-founded the alcohol- and sugar-free beverage. The NFTs will cost $180 apiece and will offer purchasers the chance to win rewards such as signed Wade sneakers and a chance to watch a Utah Jazz game with him. Wade is a minority shareholder of the NBA team.
“This is a chance to be a part of a fledgling company that is striving to grow a fan base and deliver fantastic experiences,” he said, adding that the NFT collection is another way for fans to “do something unique and creative.”
Despite this, the NFT collection is being released at a time when digital assets are in decline. According to The Wall Street Journal, daily sales of NFTs have dropped by more than 90% since September 2021. It also comes amid a cryptocurrency sell-off, including bitcoin.
Wade, on the other hand, is willing to take a gamble on the space.
“My business career has gone pretty similar to my basketball career,” he remarked.
According to Spotrac, a website that records sports connections, Wade, who retired from basketball in 2019, earned about $200 million throughout his 16-year NBA career. According to Forbes, he earns $17 million a year through endorsements.
When questioned about retiring, Wade remarked, “It’s different.” During the epidemic, Wade claimed he learned out how to apply “the same characteristics that made me a terrific athlete” to his post-career.
With a significant business decision at the heyday of his career, he set the tone for his post-retirement years.
Wade joined with the Converse footwear company as a rookie in 2003. In 2009, he joined Nike’s Michael Jordan brand, where he was paired with NBA stars Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, among others.
Then, in 2012, Wade was approached by Li-Ning, a Chinese sports clothing manufacturer, about creating his own shoe brand. They offered him a share of the company. Wade accepted the risk and left Jordan for Li-Ning, calling the offer his “most crucial transaction from a commercial viewpoint.”
Wade thanked Jordan, “Thank you for establishing the blueprint.” “I’m going to attempt my own rendition.”
According to Wade, Jordan assured Wade that he “understood and appreciated” the move.
Wade eventually agreed to a lifetime contract with Li-Ning in 2018 for an undisclosed sum. Younger NBA players like CJ McCollum of the New Orleans Pelicans and Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat have joined him on the brand. D’Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves has also joined with the footwear company.
“It’s a long development,” Wade said. “Athletes are taking risks trying something different.”
Wade went on to say, “I’m not trying to duplicate anything.” “I’m hoping to build a shoe and apparel company that players will wear for a long time.” “I want to leave something behind for my family.”
Continuing the momentum
Wade continued to expand his business when he retired.
Wade established “Wade Cellars” as a winery. He owns a share in the Players TV media organization. He and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, co-founded the baby goods brand Proudly. He explained that the startup firm was born out of a need.
“We have a 3-year-old kid and we’re travelling to 80 different locations to get supplies,” Wade explained. ‘This doesn’t work for us,’ we said. How can we create something that works for us — the world’s minorities and communities?’
Proudly launched its product range in April, which included baby wash and lotion. The business will ultimately sell diapers.
Wade also bought a modest share in the NBA’s Utah Jazz in April 2021 and became a co-owner of MLS team Real Salt Lake with Blackstone CEO David Blitzer. Wade wouldn’t say how much his stakes are worth, but he did say it’s a small amount.
Wade stated that being a majority club owner is his “ultimate aim.” However, in this case, his willingness to take risks may be limited.
“But perhaps I’ll go through this procedure and tell myself, ‘No, you don’t want those headaches,'” he explained.