On Monday, news broke on the eve of the NBA Finals that Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown had signed with Kanye West's Donda Sports. This came as a surprise to many because most, even big rap and basketball fans, had never heard of Donda Sports. West has plenty of interests outside music but is most renowned for his fashion brand, Yeezy. Brown signed back in March but the news broke earlier this week.
So what is Donda Sports? Per CBS Boston, it seems it is a sports marketing agency. Brown signing with Donda is the equivalent of another NBA star signing with Roc Nation, or so it appears. As it so happens, Antonio Brown signed with Donda Sports back in February and then released a statement that dives into the particulars of how Donda Sports is different than the other brands:
“Donda Sports was founded with the vision of providing holistic support to athletes during and beyond their sports career,” the statement said. “Donda Sports is a limitless organization centered on professional and wellness support in equal measure with the ambition to work with athletes across all genders, divisions, and sports.”
Donda Sports does have a website right now but there isn't anything to click on other than a shop that sells extravagantly expensive clothing with the company's logo embroidered, which is painfully on brand for Kanye West.
It does seem to be an ideal medium for West to exercise his connections throughout various industries and make everybody involved some money while sharing the same priorites.
Why did Brown sign with Donda Sports? He told reporters this during Finals media day on Wednesday (Per CBS Sports):
"It was time," Brown said. "For me, like I said, anytime I make a life decision, I contemplate. I think about things deeply. And from what I want to do, the missions I want to get accomplished, it was the right decision."
Brown had previously spoken strongly about his desire to partner with companies who want to support his off-court social justice initiatives aimed at improving the lives of those less fortunate, so it seems like Donda Sports will help him achieve that end. It's unclear yet what Donda Sports and Brown will do together.
As it turns out, though, Brown isn't the only professional athlete to sign with Donda Sports. A certain All-Pro nose tackle has joined the team, too.
That's right -- Aaron Donald announced via a podcast appearance that he signed with Donda Sports earlier this week. That tidbit of news got lost in the shuffle as Donald also said he might retire in the same interview, but him and Brown now make up the bedrock of Donda Sports. Kanye is surely hoping the Rams pay up and ensure Donald doesn't retire. It's a bit harder to market a former athlete than a current one, even if it's Aaron Donald. Here's how he framed the signing, per CBS Sports:
"[Hearing] the whole spectrum of everything that was going on, what they were going to be bringing, the family atmosphere that they got," Donald explained, "for me, it was a no-brainer. I think it's a hell of an opportunity to open up a lot of different doors and a lot of different things outside of football that I wanna be involved in. ... To be a part of that, and be one of the first athletes to be a part of that, it's pretty dope."