Colin Kaepernick becomes latest athlete to join Wall Street’s SPAC craze


Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick has teamed up with a private equity investor to form a blank-check company, making him the latest athlete to jump on Wall Street’s hottest trend.

The quarterback-turned-activist is the co-chairman and co-sponsor of Mission Advancement Corp., a social justice-focused special purpose acquisition company. These publicly traded companies, also known as SPACs, raise money to buy or merge with another business that then takes over the SPAC’s stock listing.

Mission Advancement is looking to raise up to $287 million with the goal of acquiring a billion-dollar, consumer-focused company with the potential to “generate a positive social impact,” according to the investment prospectus it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We believe Mr. Kaepernick’s substantial business experience combined with his long-term leadership on racial equity and justice issues will support our success in identifying a prospective target company and adding transformational value to the combined entity,” the prospectus reads.

The Tuesday filing notes that Kaepernick — who rose to fame for kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games to protest racism — has had successful partnerships with brands such as Nike and Audible.

Kaepernick’s partner in the venture is CEO Jahn Najafi, the founder of the Phoenix-based Najafi Companies, a private equity firm, and a part owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.

As a reflection of its socially conscious mission, Mission Advancement said its board of directors is composed entirely of people of color and a majority of its members are women. It also has a crew of advisers that includes Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava Duvernay and Silicon Valley investor Ben Horowitz.

Kaepernick is one of several star athletes to jump into the booming SPAC market.

The Shaquille O’Neal-backed Forest Road Acquisition Corp. announced a deal Wednesday to take the Beachbody fitness brand public. And former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez filed paperwork last week to raise up to $575 million for a SPAC called Slam Corp. that will seek out acquisition targets in the “sports, media and entertainment, technology, and health and wellness industries.”

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