Magic Johnson: The Business World’s MVP


If you happen to be sitting in Starbuck’s reading this article, there is a good chance that the aroma-filled space you’re enjoying belongs to Magic Johnson.  Yes, that Magic Johnson, former L.A. Lakers point guard and one of the sports world’s most famous players.

Basketball stars snatching up endorsement deals (or entering the rap game) seem to be par for the course these days.  But Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s success has taken a slightly different path. Who would have ever “thunk” that several years after leaving the basketball courts behind, the 6-foot-9 former NBA star would have the world at his fingertips?

In the early 1990s, he presented his imperfections to the world.  An announcement that he’d contracted the HIV virus sent the sports world into a tailspin.  But HIV didn’t slow him down.   In fact, the virus made him even more of a public champion.  He showed the world that the diagnosis wouldn’t spell disaster.  For an entire community of people suffering with the disease, this in and of itself was worthy of a trademark.

Magic Johnson has earned his place as one of the NBA’s greatest MVPs.   Following his lucrative basketball career, it seems the business world opened up to him – with deals literally oozing out of every crevice.  But Johnson didn’t build his empire off a pity campaign.

Magic Johnson Enterprises is a multimillion-dollar conglomerate, based heavily on entertainment and local community ventures.  A string of movie theaters, restaurants, a partnership with Best Buy electronics, and of course, HIV activism are just a few of Johnson’s profitable forays.

His forthright and noble attempts to better the world around him (one community at a time) are heartfelt.  Some might say that his attention to uplifting the world’s less-fortunate neighborhoods is as significant as the money.

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