Carmelo Anthony’s Advice to Brands: ‘Don’t Talk, Just Listen’

Life after the NBA has been good for Carmelo Anthony.

The 10-time NBA All-Star enjoyed a storied two-decade basketball career: He is one of the league’s top 10 all-time scorers and the player with the most Olympic medals.

Now, he is setting his sights on what’s next. Anthony sat down with Adweek’s Christine Lane at Brandweek to discuss his entrepreneurial efforts, empowering underrepresented communities and what he looks to accomplish every day.

Not disrespectful but disruptive

Anthony spent 19 years in the NBA, but it’s only been a couple of years since he entered the world of business, one he humbly acknowledges is still new to him. “I’m at the beginning. I’m just trying to get better as I grow.”

His ventures include VII(N) The Seventh Estate (wine), Creative 7 (entertainment), StayMe7o (lifestyle), Social Change Fund United, the Carmelo Anthony Foundation and Isos7 (investments).

VII(N) originated after an epiphany with his now business partner, Asani Swann, after they realized the passion they had for wine held the potential for disrupting a brand category that does not typically see business owners who look like Anthony.

“How can we really tap into the wine industry and not be disrespectful but be disruptive in the wine culture?” was Anthony’s mindset behind the endeavor.

The partners decided to go beyond Napa Valley and traveled to France for research. The brand’s first vintage blend, Oath of Fidelity, was inspired by Toussaint Louverture, a Haitian general who fought in the French Revolution and later on led the country’s revolution for independence from France.

It’s all about being intentional

Whether it’s investing in a new business or giving back to the community, Anthony approaches the act of driving change by ensuring there is strong communication between all parties.

“Don’t be afraid to communicate your idea. Talk about your vision—people need to hear it. The more you talk about it, the more people will listen,” he said. “But you have to do it, you have to put the effort into it.”

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