Since being benched by the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, former quarterback Colin Kaepernick has become a prominent activist, claiming to work in pursuit of racial and social justice. Kaepernick’s subsequent actions include the now infamous decision to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games, wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs, and signing a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Nike.
This week, Kaepernick made headlines yet again, this time for becoming the “latest athlete to join Wall Street’s SPAC craze,” teaming up with a private equity investor to form a blank-check company.
The former quarterback has reportedly partnered with Suns minority owner Jahm Najafi, with the pair “looking to raise up to $287 million through a special-purpose acquisition company with a social purpose in mind.” Kaepernick will serve as co-chair and co-sponsor of Mission Advancement Corp., a “social justice-focused special purpose acquisition company.”
Known as SPACs, these are publicly traded companies which raise money to identify and purchase a “profitable and fast-growing company,” with the goal of merging with that company which then takes over the SPAC’s stock listing.
According to the investment prospectus filed by Mission Advancement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they are looking to raise funds “with the goal of acquiring a billion-dollar, consumer-focused company with the potential to ‘generate a positive social impact.’”
“We believe Mr. Kaepernick’s substantial business experience combined with his long-term leadership on racial equity and justice issues will support our success in identifying a prospective target company and adding transformational value to the combined entity,” the prospectus reads.
“As a reflection of its socially conscious mission, Mission Advancement said its board of directors is composed entirely of people of color and a majority of its members are women,” reported the New York Post. “It also has a crew of advisers that includes Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay and Silicon Valley investor Ben Horowitz.” In addition, its board includes “Katie Beauchamp, the CEO and co-founder of Birchbox, and Omar Johnson, a former executive at Apple and Beats by Dre,” and “Attica Jaques, Google’s head of global brand consumer marketing.”
The quarterback-turned-activist is not the first athlete to enter the “booming” SPAC market. Forest Road Acquisition Corp., backed by basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, recently “announced a deal to take the Beachbody fitness brand public,” and former baseball star Alex Rodriguez “filed paperwork last week to raise up to $575 million for a SPAC called Slam Corp. that will seek out acquisition targets in the ‘sports, media and entertainment, technology, and health and wellness industries.’”
Mission Advancement said that it will “emphasize the racial and diversity issues Mr. Kaepernick has championed on and off the field through its investment in the growing environmental, social and governance investment field.”