LeBron James, Naomi Osaka & Drake Invest In Black-Owned Sports Tech Startup


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What do Maverick Carter, Jimmy Iovine, Drake, Naomi Osaka and LeBron James all have in common? Other than being superstars in their respective industries, they are all key investors in the emerging sports tech startup, StatusPRO. The group of five joins an existing investor group that includes Verizon, Greycroft and KB Partners.

According to HypeBeast, StatusPRO is a "sports tech and gaming company that incorporates player’s data and augmented and virtual reality to create a bevy of training and fan engagement products." Thus far, the Black-owned startup has secured partnerships with the NFLPA, several college athletic programs and the Baltimore Ravens. With the help of James, Drake and Osaka, the sky is the limit for StatusPRO Co-Founders Andrew Hawkins and Troy Jones.

"I look for investment opportunities that can have a lasting impact on culture and society – and StatusPRO is poised to do that. It's not only going to influence gaming and entertainment (two things I am passionate about), but also the way athletes can train and analyze their performance," Osaka said about her latest business endeavor.

"Troy and Hawk are true innovators and storytellers. I've seen that firsthand through the work Hawk has done for us at The SpringHill Company. What they are building with StatusPRO is another example of the incredible content that can be created when people feel empowered to share their own experiences. As former athletes themselves, they bring a unique and authentic perspective to this platform that will change the way people experience sports on every level," SpringHill Company CEO Maverick Carter added.

Jones and Hawkins' achievements in the sports tech space are nothing to be overlooked. According to a press release, the sports tech industry is expected to grow to $57 billion by 2027. However, HypeBeast reports that less than 1% of Black entrepreneurs receive the necessary funding from traditional venture capitalist firms to compete in these growing industries. As a part of the select group that receives funding from major investors like James, Osaka, and Drake, Hawkins and Jones don't take their position for granted.

"Besides the immense credibility our new investors bring to the business, they have proven the value of creating companies and brands that prioritize empowerment, diversity of thought, experience, and culture. These are some of the guiding principles of our business," StatusPRO CEO Troy Jones said about bringing Osaka, James and Drake on board.

"It's incredibly humbling that pioneers of their level believe in us as founders and in our vision for this industry. We always say StatusPRO is only as strong as our team, and our team just got a whole lot stronger," Chief Business Officer Andrew Hawkins added.

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