On Tuesday, it was announced that the Grammy Award-winning rapper would be joining a power team of owners for a stake in the Texas Ranchers — one of the eight founding Major League Pickleball teams.
“Pickleball is the moment and I’m excited to be part of the Texas Ranchers ownership group,” Lil Wayne said in a statement. “I’ve enjoyed watching and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join this team of owners.”
The Ranchers also shared a joint Instagram announcement with his record label, Young Money, to celebrate the partnership.
“Welcome @liltunechi to @rancherspickleball!” the post began.
The upload featured a photo of the New Orleans native rocking a leopard-print jacket and shades with his new title at the bottom of the image.
“Serving as Strategic Advisor, Lil Wayne will provide creative direction for the #TexasRanchers brand and the development of future apparel collaborations. He joins the power players of the ownership group to help build America’s Pickleball Team,” it continued.
According to a press release, the “A Milli” hitmaker is one of more than 30 owners for the Ranchers.
Golf pro Scottie Scheffler, radio personality Bobby Bones, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons and Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett are also part of the ownership group.
“We’re so excited to have Lil Wayne on board,” Ranchers CEO Evan Floersch said in a statement. “From the get-go, we set out to build a team that, at its core, was centered in pop culture to support our mission of becoming one of the most recognized brands in American sports. Having Wayne’s guidance, along with the rest of this incredible ownership group, emphasizes our stance on redefining sports ownership and being a positive force for good in our local pickleball community and beyond.”
For those unfamiliar with the fast-growing sport, it can be best described as “a smaller version of tennis, but a bigger version of ping pong.”
Lil Wayne isn’t the only high-profile rapper investing in the popular pastime. In July, Major League Pickleball announced that Weezy F. Baby’s former Young Money member Drake was joining as an investor for the Brooklyn Aces, alongside Michael B. Jordan.
“We’re thrilled to have this incredible group of investors join the Brooklyn Aces as we continue to grow the team and raise the profile of Major League Pickleball as a whole,” the team’s majority owner, Rich Kleiman, said in a statement shared with PEOPLE. “In addition to the marketing and creative acumen that Michael B. Jordan, Drake, and Steve Stoute bring to the table, our investor group includes some of the savviest entrepreneurs in the business. We’re looking forward to what our second season brings.”
In 2022, NBA stars like James, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Draymond Green invested in pickleball teams as well. The pro ballers joined other athletes such as retired NFL players like Tom Brady and Drew Brees who also have involvement with the sport.
In other news – Actor Cedric “Beastie” Jones dies
The actor and boxer died on Oct. 16, his company Beastie Boxing shared on Instagram. He was 46.
“Cedric was a loving father, devoted husband, caring son, brother, community leader, and incredible friend who inspired others,” the gym wrote Oct. 20. “He genuinely wanted everyone to become the best version of themselves. He was a gift.” Read More