Michael Jordan, Son Launching NFT-Driven Social Platform
Jeffrey Jordan will lead the company alongside Jeron Smith, and Daniel George.
Michael Jordan and his son, Jeffrey, have launched holding company Heir Inc. and secured $10 million in seed funding.
Led by Thrive Capital, the round will help build the company’s first product: a sports-focused Web 3.0 platform – also called Heir – that allows athletes to connect with their fans.
Members have an opportunity to gain access to “Huddles”, which is a unique NFT that will unlock an exclusive experience with their favorite sports star.
Each Huddle will have a certain membership capacity, so once that limit is reached, additional fans can only join if an original membership is resold.
Membership values correlate directly with an athlete’s popularity. Athletes will receive a percentage of all transactions on the platform.
Among the people that took place in the company’s funding round are Chicago Bulls player Lonzo Ball, blockchain platform Solana, entrepreneur and investor Alexis Ohanian, and New York Knicks executive vice president and senior basketball adviser William Wesley.
Jeffrey Jordan will lead the company alongside Jeron Smith, who is Steph Curry’s former CMO and business partner, and Daniel George, founder of Limitless Creative. Michael Jordan will serve as an advisor to the company.
Smith mentioned that outside of Huddles, Heir will offer other athlete insights to fans including following what songs and shows they’re consuming on Spotify and Netflix. The company is set to launch next year.
Reice Shipley is a daily news writer and social media assistant for BSM. He is a graduate of Ithaca University, contributor to the Syracuse Mets, and aspires to work behind the scenes in sports media in the future. He can be found on Twitter @Reice_Shipley18 or you may reach him by email at RShipley@ithaca.edu.
WWE Announces New Twitch Partnership
The new presentation will feature a rotating panel of hosts and contain appearances from various WWE personalities and superstars.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) has announced a new, multi-year partnership with Twitch that will relaunch the WWE channel on the platform. In addition, various WWE superstar channels are being launched that will produce and distribute exclusive content, giving fans new ways to engage with talent throughout the company.
Coinciding with tonight’s broadcast of Monday Night RAW, the company will also commence a new sidecast and alternate viewing experience on Twitch. The new presentation will feature a rotating panel of hosts and contain appearances from various WWE personalities and superstars. Moreover, there will be content tailored for the broadcast, including backstage interviews and other commentary. The livecast will take place on Mondays beginning at 8 p.m. EST, and is available to view through Twitch online or on the mobile app.
The WWE Twitch channel will also encompass other live productions and can be used to stream the company’s premium live event press conferences. The company previously announced a partnership with Twitch that gives its talent the ability to stream, albeit under certain restrictions to protect the integrity and identity of the brand. Individuals have the ability to profit off of this so long as they comply with the rules and regulations set forth by the company.
In 2020, WWE talent were informed that they needed to deactivate Twitch accounts and could no longer engage in streaming on the platform. Shortly thereafter, a deal was reached between the company and its talent to allow for the streaming to continue under conditions of sharing revenue with the WWE.
The WWE is in the process of finalizing a deal with Endeavor that will merge the company with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). WWE chief executive officer Nick Khan recently commented that SmackDown could move away from Friday nights in order to accommodate programming schedules, in addition to demonstrating flexibility with Raw.
Dave Portnoy: I Trust Penn Entertainment as Much as Ever
“Dave Portnoy is still an employee of Penn Entertainment. However, he has said publicly that he is unsure if the arrangement will continue after his contract expires in 2025.”
Dave Portnoy may have had some public disagreements with Penn Entertainment, but he says that he still trusts the company to run Barstool. He took to Twitter earlier this week to dispel the myth that he is in a feud with the company.
“By the way everything I say or do nowadays is construed as me having beef with @PENNEntertain I 100% do not. Most of my net worth is still tied to $penn. The corporate woke overlord narrative is bullshit. They woulda never bought us in 1st place if that was true. I trust them now as much as when they bought us.”
Portnoy has not been shy about criticizing the company’s decision to fire Ben Mintz after Mintz said the n-word while reading rap lyrics. Several supporters, including Dana White, noted that it is the kind of decision that only happens when corporations take over creative enterprises.
Earlier this week, Dave Portnoy announced that he had hired Ben Mintz as the first employee of Brick Watch Company. Mintz was emotional in making the announcement. The decision was not made to stick it to Penn Entertainment according to Portnoy.
Penn first acquired a stake in Barstool in 2020. It invested $163 million at that time for a 36% stake. Earlier this year, it completed its acquisition, investing an addition $388 million for the remaining 62% of the company.
Dave Portnoy is still an employee of Penn Entertainment. However, he has said publicly that he is unsure if the arrangement will continue after his contract expires in 2025.
Multiple State Regulators Push Back on Effort to Legalize Gambling on WWE
“In March, Alex Sherman of CNBC reported that WWE had meetings with regulators in Colorado and Michigan.”
Despite speculation over allowing sports bettors to wager on WWE, there doesn’t appear to be much support at the state level to add it to sportsbook offerings.
Earlier this year, WWE officials had discussions with accounting firm Ernst and Young to secure pre-determined match outcomes in order to allow betting on events. But many states where sports betting is legal have restrictions on wagering on scripted events.
In March, Alex Sherman of CNBC reported that WWE had meetings with regulators in Colorado and Michigan.
“The Colorado Division of Gaming is not currently and has not considered allowing sports betting wagers on WWE matches. By statute, wagers on events with fixed or predicted outcomes or purely by chance are strictly prohibited in Colorado; this includes wagers on the Academy Awards,” Shannon Gray of the Colorado Division of Gaming told Sports Betting Dime.
In Ohio, the same rules apply. The Ohio Casino Control Commission has not fielded any requests to add WWE. Officials in Kansas haven’t received requests either by their residents.
Elsewhere, Maryland sees keeping WWE out of betting offerings as a way to keep the integrity of legal sports betting.
“Maryland’s sports wagering law and regulations prohibit forms of wagering that are contrary to public interest or unfair to bettors,” Seth Elkin of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency added. “We’ve determined that it is unfair to bettors and therefore not in the public’s interest to accept wagers on sports entertainment events that have scripted or predetermined outcomes, like professional wrestling.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.