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Two-time NBA champ Shane Battier makes his next move as Yext board member

Former NBA forward, Shane Battier, is now a board member of Yext. In an interview with CNBC Sports Business Reporter, Jabari Young, the two-time champion with the Miami Heat details how he aligned with Yext. He also discusses his desire to focus on his business developments as he steps away from professional basketball.
Thu, Jul 1 20212:29 PM EDT

Jabari Young, CNBC Sports Business Reporter

Shane, talk to me about this position, a board member for Yext, that software company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, how did you learn about the company and what made you want to join in this role?

Shane Battier, Former NBA forward and Yext board member

It's really an exciting company, Jabari. I got to know the founder and president Howard Lerman, fellow Duke Blue Devil, many years ago when I was transitioning out of playing basketball, and we talked about maybe joining the company then. But for those who don't know, Yext, is a search software provider that uses AI to transform the search capabilities for for brands or organizations around the world. And at first glance, that doesn't sound very, very exciting, maybe. But, when you dive into actually, the experience of search and the world of search, you can go down some rabbit holes, and it's really an amazing technology and, and an opportunity to put my my stamp on my first business experience. I retired from basketball after 13 years with the Miami Heat in 2014, and I worked in media, I worked in front offices and built a great foundation, the Battier Take Charge Foundation. And I just felt it was time to sort of itch that business scratch. And and I love technology. I've always invested in technology. And I've always been passionate about learning about it. And I called Howard after after five years, and said hey, you have a spot for me because I think what you're doing is pretty amazing, And I want to I want to help.

Jabari Young

What do you want to do with this company? I mean, like I said, like you said they help companies, you know, increase their digital presence. And now, you know, we're in a new day and age of how people search for businesses, right? Some friends I'll walk in the room, and they're all talking Amazon find this or Siri do this. And so search engines and the way people search for businesses are always changing. But what do you hope to bring by joining as a board member?

Shane Battier

Well, first of all, when you think about search technology, we've all been so conditioned to go search for something, and then we all scroll down about halfway down the page, right? We know what's the top of the page may not be the answer. And and the old in the old days, the way search was done was was around keywords. And that technology is sort of going away. And so it's a novel idea that Yext is developing that you actually get answers to your questions when you query something, which is pretty awesome. And so you know, what I hope to bring like I'm a basketball player by trade. I didn't go to business school. I did intern for Morgan Stanley when I was in college, so I know enough to be dangerous. But what I know and what I hope to bring to Yext is the experience of building teams. The ability, the experience of winning championships, I've been in places where I've changed culture, from losing culture to winning culture, I've played on championship culture, at Duke University and, and the Miami Heat. And so I know teams, I know people, and sometimes in technology, we get so caught up in the actual data and the technology that we're developing it, you need people to execute. And so that's what I hope to, to bring to the table and help Brian Distelburger, the President, Howard Lerman, the board. Just with those with those dynamics.