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This basketball legend just joined Square’s board

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Magic JohnsonPhotograph by Juan Ocampo — NBAE/Getty Images

He’s got his own TV network, a food services company, a chain of movie theaters that bear his name, and an ownership stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers. And now he’s got a seat on the board of directors of one of the hottest mobile payments companies.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson has joined the board of Square, the payment platform co-founded by Twitter (TWTR) interim CEO Jack Dorsey.

Since retiring from professional basketball in 1992, Johnson has charted a path that established him as a business force and a global icon. And now Square is hoping to add a little of that “magic” to its board. In a press release Wednesday, the company announced that Johnson will join the board of directors this summer.


“I have the deepest admiration for Earvin as a tireless champion for creating economic opportunity in underserved communities,” said Jack Dorsey in the release. “As a successful entrepreneur and advocate for economic inclusion, Earvin’s unique perspective will be invaluable to our community of sellers and our board.” Johnson, for his part, said that he is “ready to get to work” as a member of the board that includes big-name venture capitalists like Vinod Khosla and Mary Meeker, as well as former Treasury secretary Larry Summers.

Johnson adds diversity to the board, and brings a background in very different businesses than the other directors. His company, Magic Johnson Enterprises, has inked deals over the years with Loews, Burger King, TGI Friday’s, and 24-Hour Fitness. He has signed co-marketing deals with Best Buy and Sodexo. He was a part owner of the Lakers before the team sold to Patrick Soon-Shiong, and is now a part owner of the Dodgers. He held an interest in more than 100 Starbucks franchises until he sold them back in 2010.

His philanthropy is also a draw for Square, around the theme of economic inclusion. The Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies helps those who never finished high school obtain diplomas, and his Clear Health Alliance focuses on HIV/AIDS care.

Joining the board of Square is Johnson’s first big foray into tech, and the next step in his multi-faceted business career.