One of the NBA’s biggest stars is now an investor and community partner with the Philadelphia Union, as the club announced Monday that Kevin Durant has purchased a five percent ownership stake and has the option to purchase an additional five percent in the near future.
The deal includes an expanded partnership with Durant and sports business executive Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures. It’ll help to grow the Union’s footprint in the overall sports world and achieve community outreach in conjunction with the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF).
“I’m excited to partner with the Philadelphia Union for years to come. My team and I connected instantly with the Union coaching staff and leadership, as well as the team’s story,” Durant said in a statement. “Off the pitch, I’m looking forward to working in the Chester and Philadelphia communities and making an impact in the same way that the KDCF has been able to in my hometown of Prince George's County.”
Durant, who now plays for the Brooklyn Nets, is a two-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He also won the NBA’s MVP award in 2014, is a 10-time NBA All-Star and won two Olympic gold medals with the United States.
“The partnership between Kevin and the Philadelphia Union is based on a set of shared values and philosophies,” Jay Sugarman, principal owner of the Union, said. “We want to be known as an innovator in our league and a team that is never satisfied with the status quo. Kevin brings us unique perspectives as a person, as a champion and as a sports icon. His work with the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation has shown he has a community-first mindset that resonates with our club’s DNA. Combined with his competitive drive and forward-thinking mentality, we believe Kevin adds a key piece in reaching our ambitions for the club.”
The Union play at Subaru Park in Chester, Pa., and the partnership includes developing programs in the city and Philadelphia area. They'll center around tackling social and racial injustice, address needs related to COVID-19 and support youth sports programming.
“We are excited to bring our expertise to this partnership and help expand the Philadelphia Union’s footprint not only in soccer, but the sports world as a whole,” Kleiman said. “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.”
Philadelphia entered MLS as an expansion team in 2010, and they’re coming off their most-successful season to date with 55 points and their first home playoff win. The club’s also made the U.S. Open Cup final three times.