Baron Davis, a former first-round draft pick NBA star and two-time All-Star, has an even more impressive career outside the court as a successful businessman and investor.
The former point guard transitioned from the NBA to become a business leader through his investments and startup businesses, such as Black Santa.
Davis, whose net worth is reported to be $60 million, is considered “The Godfather of Los Angeles Basketball.” While that reputation might have stemmed from his 15 year-long pro ball career or impressive stats playing for UCLA, Los Angeles Clippers, as well as the Bay Area Golden State Warriors, it seems the businessman has a stronghold on the Black digital economy as well.
According to Sportskeeda, Davis’ last reported salary in the NBA was $14.75 million.
The Black Santa project uses a Black representative of Santa Claus to tell diverse stories to the Black community using familiar characters in the Christmas lore.
“With all that’s going on in this country, and particularly in the African-American community, I want to offer heroes and role models through storytelling. Black Santa is the first character. His mission is to celebrate diversity, the joy of giving and the magic of good. He’s here to bring people together and have fun,” Davis said.
He told Inc. in 2016, “For me, Santa was white, and he was in Coca-Cola commercials. You never saw a black Santa on TV and in movies, and when you did, it was usually a bum with a Santa hat, or a bunch of jewelry.”
Davis launched the Black Santa Company in 2016, with co-founder Chad Gordon (who has since left the company). Davis also trademarked the name. The company sells Christmas-related merchandise with Black Santa images from ornaments and wrapping paper to sweatshirts and “ugly Christmas” sweaters.
The company was a hit right away. According to Davis, Black Santa generated nearly $500,000 in revenue in just over one month after the launch. “We’re sold out of almost everything,” he said.
Last year, the company unveiled a collection of NFTs via Crypto.com, VIBE reported. The organization hosted a month-long event called the Winter Wonderland with a charitable basketball game, a tree lighting ceremony, a block par and a karaoke night with Jordin Sparks.
Davis was also among the investors in Blavity, a Millennial and Gen Z targeted website. Davis’ investment in the Black media organization was a figurative slam dunk for the former NBA star as the Blavity is one of the leading websites in the Black news space.
According to SimilarWeb, although Blavity’s home page receives less than 1 million page views per month, it is besting its competitors when it comes to maintaining an optimal bounce rate in the high 50 percent – the percentage of visitors entering and leaving the website – and averaging visit duration that was 01:41 in September 2022. Most news websites average a duration of 30 seconds.
Gaming is His Game
Davis is into gaming as well, developing mobile games, partnering with former executive producer for NBA LIVE Sean O’Brien, to create 5 Balloons Interactive in 2012. The company, which no longer seems to be active, produced titles like “Getting Buckets” and “Temple Run.”