Tony Parker is a legendary figure in French basketball, renowned for his exceptional talent and outstanding career. Born on May 17th, 1982, in Bruges, Belgium, he quickly displayed his sporting potential by joining the Paris Basket Racing club (now Paris-Levallois).
His professional career took off when he was drafted into the NBA in 2001 by the San Antonio Spurs, an American team. Tony Parker played for the Spurs for 17 seasons, rapidly becoming one of the most respected point guards in the league. With the Spurs, he won four NBA titles in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014, solidifying his reputation as a basketball icon.
In addition to his NBA success, Tony Parker has also been a key part of the French national basketball team. He represented France in several international competitions, including the Olympic Games, thereby becoming a global ambassador for his sport.
In December 2023, Tony Parker will be part of the show «Qui veut être mon associé ?» airing on M6. This new venture showcases his professional diversification and his ability to succeed in various fields beyond basketball.
Beyond his sporting career, Tony Parker has become an influential personality and a role model for many young athletes. His passion for basketball, determination, and constant pursuit of excellence continue to inspire generations.
The French connection !
Tony, can you tell us about your transition from basketball to entrepreneurship and the challenges you encountered along the way?
My basketball career was an incredible adventure, marked with success. I had the opportunity to play in the NBA, notably with the San Antonio Spurs, where we won several championships. The most memorable mo-ments were the NBA finals, especially in 2007 when I was named MVP of the finals. I ventured into business at the age of 24, following the advice given by the renowned Magic Johnson, whom I had the chance to meet: one should build their network while still active to avoid being left without support. I wanted to prepare for the end of my high-level sports career, which became effective in 2019 at the age of 37. Looking at the path I have traveled today, I consider myself a builder.
How do you choose the projects and businesses in which you participate as an investor?
In parallel with my sports career, I invested in several business projects, while respecting the ethics that have driven me from the start. Since then, I have broadened my horizons beyond the sports field. I am the founder and CEO of Infinity Nine Group (ING), which encompasses four entities that are particularly close to my heart: sports, lifestyle, education, and tech. My company embodies my passions and values, centered on humanity and passion. I recently acquired Château Saint-Laurent in Vaucluse to pro-duce exceptional wines exclusively from the estate’s vineyards. With the Tony Parker Adéquat Academy, we train young people with customized curricula to prepare them for the jobs of the future. Another activity is my co-ownership of an exceptional stud farm in Normandy, Domaine de Quetieville, where excellent competitors such as Max Dynamite, American Devil, and Wootton have been born.
How have the skills and values you acquired as an NBA basketball player contributed to your success as an entrepreneur?
Whether as an athlete or an entrepreneur, I follow the same trajectory. My experience greatly influenced my success as a business leader. When I was a basketball player, I worked non-stop. The hard work, focus, and commit-ment as an athlete are reflected in my life as an entrepreneur. These projects in which I believe and invest correspond to my values: kindness, education, and transmission. I feel a certain pride in contributing to their development. I have lived this human adventure intensely from the beginning. I don’t feel like I’m working, even though 400 people work in my group.
Beyond basketball and your businesses, what are the passions that drive and inspire you on a daily basis?
For me, everything is intertwined: work, passions, sports, and leisure, there are no boundaries. I am fortunate to be able to fulfill my dreams. I have always been interested in entrepreneurship and invest in sectors that I love, that resonate with me, and in which I believe. Having a vineyard, allowing horses to live in an exceptional stud farm, or owning a yacht where every detail embodies excellence and perfection are not whims. The art of living is one of the foundations of Infinity Nine Group.
How do you find the right balance between your entrepreneurial career, your commitments, and your personal life?
Stress management is an integral part of high-level sports. For me, the key is mental preparation, self-confidence, and concentration, skills that I acquired on the court and continue to guide me today. I have learned to manage these emotions throughout my career. It helps me in this new life. This balance is first a matter of choice in projects. Then, you have to be well supported and know how to delegate. That is the key to success. This is the case within ING; I am very well surrounded, and I trust my team. It allows me to have free time for my two young children. My private life is important.
How has your experience in sports influenced your mindset in business?
I have the same approach in how I approach my experiences as a sportsman and an entrepreneur. When I played basketball, I wanted to be the best. I accumulated successes over my seventeen-year career. I am the first French player to have been crowned NBA champion and also the first European player to be awarded the title of MVP of the finals. I remain determined as an entrepreneur and work tirelessly. You have to dream big, that’s my motto.
If you fail, it means you’re not dreaming big enough. I remain convinced that success comes with perseverance, determination, and passion for the projects you undertake.
As someone who has reached many heights in sports and business, what are your future aspirations?
With ING, I want to have an impact on society, to inspire people. I managed to do that when I was a basketball player. I had a successful sports career in which I was able to bring happiness. In the business world, it is more challenging, but I believe in it. I want to continue to develop my businesses in the areas I love and invest in new exciting projects. I continue to be in-volved in various charitable initiatives. It has always been one of my priorities.
We would like to become your partner too! (laughs)
What qualities are required to hit the jackpot?
I am very happy to participate as an investor in Season 4 of the M6 show «Qui veut être mon associé ?» which will be broadcast in early 2024. It connects entrepreneurs who pit-ch their projects and investors. To convince, the priority is to show that you are passionate and that you can overcome all obstacles to bring your project to life, with perseverance. I have no preconceptions on the subject.
What could you wish for the readers of LiFE Magazine?
Believe in yourself! Be passionate and always dream big. I encourage you to stay determined and to inspire each other. Remember that life is beautiful! (Smiles)