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Despite an injury in the middle of the season for Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, the NBA star is continuing to build his brand, both on and off the court.
Davis has with major partnerships with companies like Michelob Ultra (BUD), Ruffles (PEP), and is getting advice from some of the best in the arena. The latter presented him with the unique opportunity to be able to "own your own ridges...to have your own chip...that was pretty cool," he told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview.
Last year, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay unveiled the the NBA All-Star's new signature flavor, Ruffles Lime & Jalapeño. Davis explained that his love of spice drove the "great combination" with the help of Ruffles. This year, Davis also starred in a new commercial dubbed 'Ruffles Without Ridges,' featuring T-Pain and King Bach.
This year, Ruffles announced a similar endorsement deal with Boston Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum to create a Flamin' Hot BBQ chip. Pepsi and the NBA also announced it renewed its multi-year renewal of their marketing partnership, which began in 2015 after a 28-year relationship with Coca-Cola (KO).
'Success on and off the floor'
In May of 2020, Davis ranked #44 in Forbes' list of 2020 The World's Highest-Paid Athletes Earnings, at $30.4 million dollars. The ball player told Yahoo Finance he listened to "a couple of people" when it comes to decision-making on what business moves comes next — including megastar teammate LeBron James.
There's "a couple of friends that I talk to..I talk to [Lebron] a lot," Davis said. "He's very successful on and off the floor. So it's a very, you know, reliable resource for me....I have people I talk to to get better on the floor, and how I can expand and my brand off the floor as well."
As the sports card industry sees a major boom, Davis's rookie card also saw a major surge, topping the $1 million dollar valuation mark. He joked that he'd have "to tell his parents about that," and floated the idea of getting involved in the trade.
"I might have to get into that space... it's very humbling," he said. "I mean, it's a great honor to have one of my cards sell for that much." He believes it's an assessment of "all the hard work and dedication to my craft that I've put into."
Yet some experts think valuations in sports cards might be overinflated. Sports-betting consultant "Vegas" Dave Oancea told Yahoo Finance that valuation may not actually be the price of the card, explaining that the run-up in Davis' card is simply because "the market is just popping right now."
He noted "someone with money bought the card, because they're all being manipulated in the head by these fake prices."
Brooke DiPalma is a producer and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma