Thunder superstar Kevin Durant now owns a stake in Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt after inking an endorsement deal with the Oklahoma City-based chain.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Durant will receive an ownership interest in Orange Leaf in exchange for his work to promote the frozen yogurt brand through community service partnerships, including the development of a program that will help under-served kids and communities, Orange Leaf said. Durant also will promote Orange Leaf through social media and in-person appearances as part of the endorsement deal.
Orange Leaf CEO Reese Travis said he was impressed with Durant’s involvement in the Oklahoma City community, and that led him to want to partner with the Thunder forward. Travis said he was particularly touched with Durant’s efforts to help with cleanup efforts after the May 2013 Moore tornado.
“From the first conversation I ever had with him, he was very humble and very focused on what we were talking about,” Travis said. “He’s the same guy you see in the media — very down to earth.”
Travis is a former offensive lineman on the University of Oklahoma football team and said his love of sports also drew him to Durant, who was named NBA’s Most Valuable Player this year.
A former Orange Leaf franchisee, Travis and his business partners bought Orange Leaf in 2010 and moved the company’s headquarters from San Francisco to Oklahoma City. The chain had only about 15 stores when the group purchased the company.
Orange Leaf has since grown to more than 300 locations, including a handful of stores in Australia. There are also plans to expand the brand to Mexico and the Middle East as well as China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong.
The frozen yogurt chain is headquartered in Oklahoma City’s TWO Caliber Park office building near Quail Springs Parkway and N May Avenue.
The management firm Roc Nation Sports negotiated the deal on Durant’s behalf.
“This is an extremely unique partnership that will allow KD to represent a company that he likes, cares about and is now a partial owner of,” Michael Yormark, Roc Nation president and chief of branding and strategy, said in a statement.
Orange Leaf is Durant’s second equity stake in an Oklahoma City-based restaurant venture. He also owns a 25 percent stake in the KD’s Southern Cuisine restaurant in Bricktown, operated by Hal Smith Restaurant Group.