Cade Cunningham, first ranked in the National Basketball Association 2021 draft, has added another recognition deal to his portfolio. The 19-year-old striker is now with energy supplement company Uptime.
Under this agreement, Cunningham will serve as a brand ambassador and promoter Uptime products. Financial terms have not been disclosed, but equity in the company is not included, according to Cunningham.
Uptime in California launched a line of energy drinks in 2014, and the product is sold in more than 35,000 locations, and on Amazon. Uptime raised $ 11.7 million, according to Pitchbook. Uptime said it has increased 2021 revenues 50% year-over-year, but did not disclose current figures.
Cunningham was drafted first overall by the Detroit Pistons in Thursday’s 2021 NBA draft. He medium 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds in his only season in Oklahoma State.
Often, the NBA’s top picks sign up for drinks-like trades with Pepsi-owned Gatorade and capital deals with Bodyarmor. Although Uptime is a much smaller company, Cunningham said it “aligns” with its vegan lifestyle. The company said it uses natural caffeine from green tea for its products.
Cade Cunningham poses for a photo after being drafted first overall by the Detroit Pistons during the 2021 NBA Draft on July 29, 2021 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Melanie Fidler | National Basketball Association | Getty Images
“I chose a small company because I feel like the product they made is what I like,” Cunningham told CNBC. “They’re not all for big names just because that’s what the consensus says. … I feel like a good image for them, and they make a great product.”
In court, Cunningham is often compared to Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic. And with Cunningham’s unparalleled play and complacency on the field, he also heard comparisons with San Antonio Spurs icon Tim Duncan, who led the franchise to five NBA championships.
“I like it,” Cunningham said. “Tim, you might argue, is the greatest forward of all time. He’s the first two of course.”
Asked about his new team, the Pistons, Cunningham said the franchise is moving in the right direction. “If I’m able to intervene and contribute, I want to take it to the next level.”
With his project slot, he will get a multi-year contract of more than $ 40 million to start his pro career. On the validation front, he agreed to the terms with Nike on Tuesday and worked out a deal with luxury department store Neiman Marcus, which dressed him up for the draft.
Asked who he wants to imitate outside of court in business, Cunningham mentioned LeBron James. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar surpassed the $ 1 billion mark, becoming the first pro-active player to fail.
LeBron James talks to LeBron James about his future NBA plans at the Boys & Girls Club of America on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Larry Busacca | Getty Images
“He’s the best guy to watch now as a youngster coming into the league,” Cunningham said. He said James is a role model for the business aspect of the sport. He “put his plot so well, opened it up, and let the people in his life. … Obviously, he’s a great basketball player, but the things he does off the field – change of mindset in the community ”.
Cunningham took a financial advisor and said they plan to build revenue out of the basket. He indicated investing in bitcoin and real estate but is not “limited to anything”.
Asked about the first stock he plans to buy with his money, Cunningham chose Apple. The company reported its third-quarter fiscal earnings on Tuesday, hitting $ 81.41 billion in revenue, which is up 36% year-over-year.
“I feel like Apple doesn’t really lose,” Cunningham said. “Then I’ll take something I know that’s going to work.”