“Magic Johnson invested in 125 Starbucks locations”: How Lakers legend’s $1 billion company grew with a bevy of business savvy investments

Samir Mehdi
|Published June 18, 2022

Magic Johnson invested in 125 Starbucks franchises to help build out his business portfolio and acquire a $1 billion company. 

Magic Johnson may have only spent 12 years in the NBA but he certainly made a mark on the league by the time he was forced to retire due to medical concerns. His on-court brilliance; everything from 5 championships to multiple league and Finals MVPs, led to him building enough cache to venture into the world of business. 

It’s a well known fact that NBA earnings run thin when you live a lifestyle your contracts can’t quite cash in. Back in the day however, business savvy superstars in professional sports weren’t a part of the norm. Guys like Julius Erving and Bernard King were ahead of the curve and eventually paved a way for Magic and beyond.

Also read: “Magic Johnson made a $200,000 mistake that turned into a great lesson”: How the Lakers legend built his $620 million empire based on a customer first approach

From the get-go, it was clear that Magic Johnson was about his money as he negotiated himself into getting a $460,000 deal as a rookie. This was quite the deal for a player with 0 NBA experience in 1979. 

Johnson hit the ground running as he would soon invest in two Colorado radio stations and open his own retail store in 1981. 

Magic Johnson has an incredible amount of Starbucks chains that he’s invested in. 

Magic Johnson had to convince Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, that the franchise needed to open up stores in the inner city as well. Between 1998 and 2010, Johnson would carry out this vision as he would open over 100 cafes by investing in them, raking in a bit of the profit as the decades passed by.

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Under the umbrella of ‘Magic Johnson Enterprises’, the Los Angeles Lakers legend grew the company into one that was worth $1 billion. To this day, they are continuing their growth with Johnson being appointed to the ‘Fanatics’ Board of Directors. 

Burger King chains are also another eatery that Magic has dabbled in, investing in over 30 of them in the past decade or two.

Also read: “Best player in the league doesn’t win MVP, Stephen Curry shouldn’t win Finals MVP if Dubs lose”: Stephen A. Smith disagrees with Jalen Rose and Magic Johnson about FMVP

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About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi is a senior strategist for the NBA division at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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