Michael Jordan, Owners of Lakers, Celtics, Bucks Launch Line of Tequilas
In the NBA, Michael Jordan, Jeanie Buss, Wyc Grousbeck and Wes Edens are cutthroat competitors. But outside of the league, the owners of the Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, respectively, are now collaborators in the tequila business.
With Wyc’s wife, Emilia Fazzalari, serving as CEO, Cinco Spirits Group recently launched Cincoro Tequila, a line of spirits distilled from Mexican agave that is set to expand its distribution nationwide in January, per Forbes' Chloe Sorvino. The name Cincoro is a portmanteau of the Spanish words for five (“cinco”) and gold (“oro”).
The venture began in the summer of 2016, when Michael, Jeanie, Wyc, Emilia and Wes gathered for dinner at Pasquale Jones in Manhattan during the NBA’s annual owners meetings. Between their time waiting for a table and the meal they shared, the group got to talking about creating a tequila with a long, smooth finish comparable to whiskey.
Three years later, Cincoro has debuted four distinct tequila varietals—a blanco, a reposado aged 8-10 months, an añejo aged 24-28 months and an extra añejo aged as many as 44 months—ranging in price from $70 up to $1,600.
Though the owners involved all share in the venture, Cincoro owes its strongest influence to Michael. For one, tequila is the NBA legend’s preferred spirit. And, as with his shoes, MJ turned to Nike—namely, Mark Smith, the apparel giant’s vice president of innovation special projects—to design the bottle. The result is a sleek glass container with five sides, invoking the number of partners, and a 23-degree tilt upward, in honor of Michael’s iconic No. 23 jersey.
Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.