James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against the Boston Celtics in Game One of the First Round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center at Barclays Center on May 22, 2021 in New York City.
Steven Ryan | Getty Images
NBA superstar James Harden is a new investor in luxury retailer Saks, the parties announced on Monday.
Harden purchased a minority stake and will become a member of the Saks’ board, where he’ll advise on growing “high-potential consumer brands” and help expand its e-commerce platform, according to the announcement. Terms of Harden’s investment were not made available.
“I am honored to join the Saks board and to be a part of a company that is paving the future of luxury retail,” Harden said in a statement. “This is an exciting opportunity for me to combine two of my personal passions – a love of fashion and teaming up with brands that have the potential to lead while making an impact on the communities they serve.”
Harden, a star on the Brooklyn Nets, is one of the more fashionable players in the NBA and has garnered a following among the league’s younger fans via social media partnerships. Harden, 31, is in good position to leverage his cultural influence, name, image and likeness to drive new business to Saks and help launch clothing brands.
Ramin Talaie | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Harden has previously made investments in beverage company BodyArmor, personal hygiene company Art of Sport, and Major League Soccer’s and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Houston franchises.
“As we work to build this new board, James is an important and valuable addition,” Saks’ chairman Richard Baker said in a statement. “With experience in growing businesses and as someone who values self-expression through fashion, I am confident that he will bring a distinct point of view that will help us better deliver for our customers.”
Harden will make $44 million for the 2021-22 season, part of a four-year $171 million extension he signed in 2017 with the Rockets. He was traded to the Nets in January.
In six games in the 2021 postseason, Harden is averaging 23.2 points and 8.8 assists. He suffered a hamstring injury in Game 1 of the current playoff round against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Nets-Bucks series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 on Tuesday.