As an Olympic gold medalist and four-time All-NBA player, people in Miami know Jimmy Butler for the plays he makes on the basketball court. But soon, the Miami Heat forward may be just as famous for making his own coffee. The business venture started as a joke, but now the NBA player is providing his BigFace coffee brand to world-class tennis players in the player dining area at the Miami Open. The tournament takes place between March 21 and April 3 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, and features some of the world’s top tennis players.
Butler first got the idea for BigFace while isolated in the bubble at Walt Disney World with other players, team personnel and members of the media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inside the bubble, people paid for most of their needs with a wristband attached to a credit card. But they also received a cash stipend to cover meals and incidental expenses. When Butler realized he had one $20 bill along with the rest of his cash, he thought it would be funny to see how many of the other players and staff would use their $20 to buy a cup of his coffee.
Butler charged his coffee-drinking customers cash and said he wasn’t making change for anyone, even if that meant they had to spend $100 for a cup of joe. That’s where he got the idea for the name, BigFace - the slang term used to describe a bill with a larger presidential portrait on the front. When players were allowed to leave the bubble, Butler decided to keep his coffee business going. He even started researching formulas and brewing techniques to make his coffee better. Today, BigFace is a serious business venture. And Butler, who says he once hated coffee, now finds himself drinking nearly 10 cups every day. “I give Jimmy a lot of credit,” said Butler’s former Heat teammate Goran Dragic. “He said he was going to learn everything he could about coffee and he meant it.”
Butler, who is a tennis fan, thinks the partnership with the Miami Open is a no-brainer. “I think when it’s coming from one professional athlete to another, and they see me constantly drinking BigFace coffee, they know I wouldn’t put any B.S. in my body,” Butler said in an interview with the Associated Press. “And I know everybody’s so cognizant of what they put in their body, as a professional athlete in whatever sport. I just want to help put the best in front of you, and you take it and run with it if you choose.”
These days, Butler considers himself a coffee connoisseur and travels with his own beans and accessories to make himself the perfect cup. He says he hopes to one day open a BigFace retail location where he can make coffee drinks for his customers. “The perfect cup for me is the cup where I get to learn something about the people I’m having it with,” Butler said.