Before extending his leadership career in the National Basketball Association, former Miami Heat striker Shane Battier positioned his business affairs outside of the sport.
Battier, 42, moved to a New York-based software company Yext as a board member on Wednesday. Yext is an artificial intelligence search company that provides brand data management and helps companies grow their digital presence. It has agreements with companies including Verizon, Marriott, and Samsung.
Yext left public in 2017 and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. It has a market capitalization of around $ 1.8 billion.
“When you immerse yourself in the experience of the world of search, you step into some rabbit holes,” Battier told CNBC in an interview about his latest move on Thursday. “It really is an amazing technology and an opportunity to make my mark on my first business experience.”
“In the past,” he added, “the search for ‘keywords’ was down. This technology is kind of disappearing. It’s a novel idea that Yext is developing that when you ask something, you actually get answers to your questions.”
Battier said he will bring “team building” experience to Yext, something he has learned over 13 seasons in the NBA. The former Duke University standout played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets and Miami Heat, where he won two championships in 2012 and 2013.
Howard Lerman, CEO, Yext
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
“I’ve been to places where I’ve changed cultures – from a losing culture to a winning culture,” he said. “I know teams, and I know people, and sometimes the technology. We’re so caught up in the data and the technology we’re developing, but you need people to run it.”
Battier left his role as Vice President of Analytics and Basketball Development at Heat in June. He is currently associated with front office positions across the league. including Utah Jazzwhere former teammate Dwyane Wade is now a co-owner.
When asked if he would like to take another job in basketball operations, Battier didn’t turn down the idea, but added that the main goal was to establish his personal affairs outside of the NBA.
“I’m scratching my business itch,” said Battier. “Basketball will always be a big part of my life. I’ll never say no to go back to a more official position … but right now I’m trying to distinguish myself as a businessman. “
Battier made $ 55 million in his career. according to Spotrac, a website that tracks sports contracts. He described his investment style as “conservative” and added: “I haven’t had too many losses and failures that have cost me dearly.”
Shane Battier (31) of Miami Heat can’t avoid Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers in the first quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, May 24, 2014.
Charles Trainor Jr. | Miami Herald | Tribune News Service | Getty Images
Battier is an independent director of BOA Acquisition Corp, a special-purpose acquisition company covering more than $ 200 million in February in. The SPAC is listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “BOAS.U. “He also joined a” disruptive innovation fund “that has a minority stake in South Korea E-commerce company Coupangand personally invested in Pasta brand “Banza.”“and lifestyle brand, Eastside Golf.
Battier said he wanted to make a name for himself with “impact investing” – to help minority entrepreneurs succeed. “I think this is a great time to increase diversity not just at the board level, but also at the founder and creator level,” he added.
Asked about his predictions for the NBA finals that will be unveiled the phoenix suns For the first time since 1993, Battier said he supported the team. Another former teammate, James Jones, is the vice president of the Sun’s basketball operations.
“I read a statistic that James Jones has played in eight of the last 10 NBA finals,” Battier said, referring to Jones’ finals with the Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. “Though, if the Hawks do it, Grant Hill – it will be really tough.