HEIR, supported by Michael Jordan and co-founded by his son Jeffrey, has raised $10 million in seed funding to launch a blockchain-based platform that will connect athletes and fans in 2022. Marketing executive Daniel George and Jeron Smith, who built Unanimous Media with Steph Curry, are also HEIR founders.
Thrive Capital led the round—joined by Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Solana Ventures and others. On the HEIR platform, select athletes will be able to launch their own “huddles,” accessible only to fans who buy a digital token associated with that space. Community membership could come with a variety of perks, ranging from players’ music playlists and messages from the star to exclusive memorabilia, including more digital goods.
“We envision HEIR becoming the platform that will help cultivate the future of athlete meta-brands,” George and Smith said in a joint statement. “Dedicated supporters are at the heart of the platform, and they’ll benefit from early adoption ownership and unmatched access to their favorite athletes.”
In theory, fans could financially benefit by buying one of the limited tokens early in a player’s career and then selling it once the player is more popular. Athletes would get a cut of primary and secondary market sales. HEIR is expected to target NBA players among its first class of huddle creators. Down the road, college and pre-college athletes could take advantage of the NCAA’s new NIL freedoms by launching huddles of their own.
The HEIR platform is just part of the company’s vision for what HEIR Inc. could offer. The founders are also exploring content-studio and immersive experiences targeted at younger consumers.
“The Jordan name has cultivated a loyal community for more than 35 years; the focus now is passing that legacy on to the next generation,” Jeffrey Jordan said in a statement. Jeffrey previously led digital brand innovation for Nike’s Jordan vertical and launched Jordan Avakian Group to consult with and invest in startups. He is remaining active with Jordan Avakian, as well as the Jordan family office. Basketball Hall of Famer and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan serves as adviser and strategic partner for HEIR. He is also an investor in Dapper Labs.
“We hope to continue to build and invest in businesses that bring that same reverence to the media and tech space,” Jeffrey said.