Colin Kaepernick’s reluctance to promote his work and sit down for high profile interviews reportedly cost his company a lucrative deal.
According to the Wall Street newspaper, Kaepernick’s Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) was about to finalize an agreement to acquire The enterprise of change, a California-based lending company that helps minority borrowers who have had difficulty obtaining loans from traditional banks. Its mission statement is “Bank the Underbanked, Fairly and Responsibly”.
A socially conscious company dedicated to helping black and Latino communities would seem like a perfect fit for Kaepernick, whose activism for social justice and racial equity made him a celebrity associated with protest. Of course, he’s also a controversial figure whose outspokenness about racial injustice likely ended his NFL career.
But while the Mission Advancement Corp. Kaepernick’s was approaching a deal with The Change Company, he turned down the lender’s promotion requests. In particular, Kaepernick would not accept an interview with Hello america and George Stephanopoulos. This effectively ended any chance of making a deal.
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(A SPAC – sometimes called a “blank check company” – raises capital to acquire or merge with existing companies. WSJ, Mission Advancement Corp. raised $ 345 million in March after its IPO. Kaepernick is co-chairman of the company with private investor Jahm Najafi, also a minority owner of the Phoenix Suns. Other former sports stars who have PSPCs include Shaquille O’Neal and Alex Rodriguez.)
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The Change Company rightly hoped that Kaepernick would use his notoriety and celebrity reputation to promote his business. It would appear to be in Kaepernick’s best interests as well, increasing the value of the business his PSPC was set to acquire. But the leaders of Mission Advancement Corp. disliked the idea of Kaepernick being asked about the company or his protests, including kneeling during the national anthem while still an active NFL player.
Still, Kaepernick refusing to do interviews probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. Promotion for the Netflix series Pollock in black and white, based on her high school years, was left to producer Ava DuVernay.
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Interestingly, Netflix had agreed to invest in the Mission deal with Change Co., but had not fully committed when the deal fell apart. Actor Tyler Perry and WNBA stars Diana Taurisi and Maya Moore have also pledged investments. Yet several leading Wall Street companies, many of which have invested in other SPACs, have declined. Nike, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams were also among those who did not want to invest.
Mission Advancement Corp. is probably hoping to use Kaepernick’s profile to attract investors. But if he doesn’t use his celebrity status to promote deals and acquisitions, it could hurt potential future investors.
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