NBA champion and former Beats athlete Kevin Durant has a new headphones brand to call his own, literally, after buying a stake in New York’s Master & Dynamic. Announcing the partnership this week, Master & Dynamic CEO Jonathan Levine spoke with The Verge to lay out what we can expect, stressing that it’s much more than just a paid celebrity endorsement. Durant isn’t getting paid anything, for a start.
According to Levine, the collaboration with Durant grew organically out of meetings between the two men and Durant’s longtime business partner Rich Kleiman. As an ESPN profile of Kevin Durant, titled “The Making of a Mogul,” makes clear, KD has developed a habit of getting financially involved with products and services he uses on a daily basis. One example was him buying a stake in Postmates in the summer of 2016, simply because he liked the service, and the M&D deal now is a similar effort to combine something he enjoys with a potentially lucrative payoff in the future. “Music is such a huge part of my life,” says Durant, “that their products have become an important part of my day to day, and I’m looking forward to some amazing collaboration between our teams.”
Master & Dynamic isn’t yet laying out a full road map, but it says Durant will be involved in the marketing and creative aspects of promoting the brand as well as contributing his own design ideas. Levine says KD wanted to “have impact other than just showing up for photoshoots,” and the intent is for his involvement to be “from the ground up,” no different to how he works with Nike on designing a new shoe.
Though the news is being announced now, Kevin Durant’s mother was already featured on the Master & Dynamic blog for a “Mother’s Day With Wanda Durant” profile, and the earlier ESPN article suggests the investment had been made months ago. In any case, all the important aspects of the Durant x Master & Dynamic collab are ahead of us, with potentially new product lines and a push into sports headphones on the horizon.