Former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick Among Latest SPAC Casualties, Costing Investors Millions

Zinger Key Points
  • A SPAC that counts a former NFL player as a sponsor is liquidating after not reaching a deal.
  • The SPAC is one of the many celebrity SPACs.

Football fans are charged up for Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, but investors of a SPAC that included a former NFL quarterback certainly weren't cheering in 2022. The SPAC was close to locking down a deal, but instead fell apart at the hands of the quarterback.

What Happened: The SPAC Mission Advancement Corp, which was liquidated in December 2022, counted former NFL player Colin Kaepernick among the sponsors involved.

SPAC expert Julian Klymochko noted on Twitter that Mission Advancement had a deal planned in December 2021 that fell apart. One of the contributing factors to the deal collapsing was the refusal by Kaepernick to promote the merger on live television.

“This mistake not only cost the sponsor $7 million in cash but also as much as $86 million in stock,” Klymochko tweeted.

Mission Advancement was in talks to merge with The Change Co., a company that specializes in providing lending to minority borrowers who are underserved by traditional banks.

The deal faced pushback due to Kaepernick not wanting to promote the merger on television, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Mr. Kaepernick balked at requests from Change Co. executives that he sit for an appearance with George Stephanopoulos on ‘Good Morning America’ and declined to participate in interviews as part of the rollout,” the WSJ report said, citing internal documents.

After SPAC deals are announced, it was and to some extent still is common for those behind the SPAC or companies going public to make the media rounds with appearances on television. Kaepernick’s refusal to do so might have been a surprise to the SPAC that promoted his involvement hard at the time of the offering.

The WSJ report says Tyler Perry, musicians J. Cole, Quavo and Nas and WNBA players Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore were going to invest in the SPAC merger, thanks in part to Kaepernick’s involvement.

The sponsors of the SPAC, which included Kaepernick were said to be willing to contribute $10 million towards the deal. In return, the sponsors would get $80 million in founder shares.

Related Link: EXCLUSIVE: OpenAI Went 5 For 5 In NFL Playoff Predictions, Here's What It's Saying About Super Bowl LVII

Why It’s Important: Gary Gensler, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, previously called out the high number of celebrities such as athletes, actors and politicians linked to SPACs, also called blank check companies.

The merger target was likely hoping to capitalize on the familiarity of Kaepernick to help boost its brand and the overall value of the company, something that Kaepernick would have been rewarded with as an investor of the combined company.

Kaepernick had a documentary air on Netflix Inc NFLX about his life. The former NFL player also has an advertising deal with Nike Inc NKE. Campaigns at Nike from Kaepernick boosted the company’s value by $6 billion and sales by 31% according to the original SPAC filing.


The SPAC filing originally said that Kaepernick was expected to stay engaged in the target company, join the board of directors and become a global brand ambassador.

Kaepernick was mentioned 123 times in the SPAC filing, with Mission Advancement seeking to find an ESG-themed company valued at around $1 billion.

Instead of getting a deal done with a company helping minority members get more access to funding, the SPAC became one of the many to end up being liquidated.

See Also: Chamath Palihapitiya Liquidating 2 SPACs: Are Dreams Of Creating The Next Berkshire Hathaway Over?

Originally published Oct. 27, 2022.

Photo: Brecht Bug via Flickr

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Posted In: M&ASmall CapSportsTop StoriesGeneralColin KaepernickICYMIJulian KlymochkoNational Football LeaguenflSPACSPACs
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