Business

NBA star Jimmy Butler launches his Bigface coffee brand


Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during Round One Game Four of the Eastern Conference Playoffs on May 29, 2021 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

Jesse D. Garrabrant | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

It started as a joke, but now National Basketball Association star Jimmy Butler has officially launched a coffee brand.

The 32-year-old Miami Heat star started his company in the 2020 NBA Covid bubble in Orlando, Florida, selling cups of coffee for $20 each. After that season, Butler filed for trademarks around Bigface and officially started plans to launch his coffee company. And on Friday he announced that he joined Shopify‘s creator program to boost his Bigface coffee brand.

In an interview with CNBC, Butler admitted he isn’t aiming to be “the best at making coffee” but added he’s taking the business seriously.

“I wake up in the morning excited to train and go work out,” Butler said. “Then I want to hurry up and get home so I can practice my bartending,” he said, referring to making coffee drinks. For now, he’ll sell branded merchandise in Shopify like coffee mugs and NFTs. He plans to sell the beans later.

Making big faces

Jimmy Butler

Source: Bigface

Butler said the bubble business experience provided a challenge away from basketball. “It’s just the competitor in me,” he added.

Shopify selects a group of athlete entrepreneurs for its program and doesn’t take any fees or equity stake. Butler will get all the profit. But partnering with an NBA athlete allows Shopify to integrate a well-known figure into its e-commerce platform and it will use Butler’s name, image and likeness for promotions.

The global coffee sector was valued at more than $102 billion last year, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 4.28% until 2026, according to firm Researchandmarkets.

Asked what he’ll earn from Bigface, Butler, who has made over $144 million in his NBA career, said: “It’s not about that for me. I think basketball has been a great source of income for me and my family.” He said he’s in the business just to make and talk over coffee.

Jimmy Butler

Source: Bigface

The red eye to Miami 

NBA training camps opened this week, and one of the more intriguing teams in the league is Butler’s team.

The Heat had an active offseason bringing in All-Star Kyle Lowry in a three-year, $85 million sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors. The team also signed veteran PJ Tucker, who played last season for the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. And Butler agreed to an extension that includes an estimated $52 million player option in 2025.

Asked to compare the 2021-22 Heat to a Bigface coffee option, Butler selected the red eye. “You have a little bit of everything in there,” he said. “You have some coffee, an espresso shot – you have everything. And it’s going to hit you.

“I’m the cup that it’s in – I hold it all together,” added Butler, noting Lowry is “the steam that’s coming off” the red eye. ” You’ve got to have him otherwise it doesn’t make sense. You don’t want a cold red eye. You want it hot.”

With the NBA’s 75th season beginning Oct. 19, Butler is now focusing on basketball, but he has already planned life after his playing days are over. Butler said he’ll be in Miami or San Diego in one of his coffee shops. And this time, he’s not joking.

“After my basketball career, and people are like ‘Man, what is Jimmy doing nowadays,’ you know where to find me,” Butler said. “I will be in my cafe behind the bar making coffee.”



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