GOING PLACES Inside Damian Lillard’s car dealership with NBA star offering VIP event access and game tickets when buying a Toyota

NBA star reveals why he wants to ‘create a community’ with his business interest

DAMIAN Lillard may have left the Trail Blazers – but he is leaving a lasting legacy in Portland.

The NBA superstar, who moved from the Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks last fall, owns a car dealership in McMinnville just outside of Portland.

Damian Lillard owns a Toyota car dealership just outside of Portland

Damian Lillard owns a Toyota car dealership just outside of PortlandCredit: Instagram/damianlillardtoyota

4The company is called ‘Damian Lillard Toyota’Credit: Instagram/damianlillardtoyota

Lillard opened the dealership with Brian Sanders in 2020

Lillard opened the dealership with Brian Sanders in 2020Credit: Instagram/damianlillardtoyota

Customers have the chance to gain numerous VIP experiences

Customers have the chance to gain numerous VIP experiencesCredit: Instagram/damianlillardtoyota
Lillard purchased ‘Damian Lillard Toyota’ in partnership with Brian Sanders, the founder of the local nonprofit A Working Family’s Christmas and automotive industry veteran, in 2020.

While Lillard may have left Portland, his car dealership remains a long-term business project.

The dealership – or auto retail “campus” – offers numerous incentives for customers to buy cars, including opportunities to meet Lillard.

The ‘Damian Lillard Toyota VIP Club’ offers “preferred access” to Lillard visits and events, opportunities to win meet and greets/photo opportunities with Lillard, and VIP experience opportunities with Yamhill County wineries and the Evergreen Space Museum.

In addition, Lillard invited 40 customers at random to be his guest at a Trail Blazers game once a year.

It is unclear how frequent these opportunities will occur, with Lillard having moved to the Bucks.

Store visitors can also play Pop-a-Shot and ping pong, while there is also a covered open-air lounge.

Lillard says he is trying to “create a community” with his business venture.

“I think a lot of times we try to sell things to people and you try to convince people and you try to persuade them and you’re competing against the competition,” he told Front Office Sports.

“But I think ultimately people want a safe place. People want a home. They want an environment where they can go and connect. They want things that are authentic.

“I’ve learned that works in business, when people feel like they can just relax and they don’t have to be on guard about what you’re trying to sell them or how they can be taken advantage of.

“It’s appreciated on a different level. You have more success that way, when you just do things the right way.”

Lillard recently left fans worried having revealed he lives a lonely life in a new city.

The eight-time NBA All-Star filed for divorce from his wife Kay’La just days after the Trail Blazers traded him to Milwaukee last fall.

Lillard, 33, recently told Sports Illustrated he doesn’t regret requesting the trade after 11 years in Portland even though his first season with the Bucks has been a bumpy road.

But the NBA sharpshooter admitted he finds it “tough” being so far away from his family, particularly his kids.

The former No. 6 overall pick shares three sons with Kay’La, whom she married in September 2021.

“In Portland, my life was set up,” Lillard said.

“My mom was down the street; my brother was the other way down the street. My sister was down the street. My kids in school.

“Just my whole life was set up perfectly right there. It was a great situation. So just leaving that behind alone is a lot.

“And then you add the basketball side to it and that is what it is.”

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