Kawhi Leonard Joins X2 Performance Board in Equity Deal

    • Leonard will get two board seats and become the 'face of the brand.'
    • X2 raised $14 million in a recent Series D funding round.

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Following a recent string of athletes taking equity stakes in the companies they endorse, Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is joining natural performance supplement company X2 Performance as an investor and member of its board of directors.

The company — which makes energy drinks and workout supplements — will use the 2019 NBA Finals MVP’s image and likeness as it looks to expand to national retailers. “He will be the face of the brand,” X2 CEO Mark French told CNBC. Leonard will also be directly involved with “product innovation and marketing support.”

“I have been approached by many beverage and supplement brands, but I decided to join X2 because it is natural with clean ingredients. I love the products, and the impact it’s had on my training and performance,” Leonard said in an announcement. “I’m really inspired by our X2 team and the momentum we are building.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it gives Leonard two seats on the board, CNBC reported. His investment came as part of a Series D funding round that raised roughly $14 million. 

Private equity firm L Catterton’s growth fund was the leading investor in the round — L Catterton recently led funding rounds for connected fitness companies Tonal and ICON, and was an early Peloton backer. Other sports industry investors include ESPN NFL insider and X2 board member Mike Tannenbaum, CAA Sports Co-Head Mike Levine, O’Melveny Sports Industry Group Co-Chair Chuck Baker and Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David.

Other high-profile athletes to recently take investment stakes in performance-related companies they endorse include Patrick Mahomes at Hyperice, and DeAndre Hopkins at Therabody and BioSteel.