No mountain of money seems to tall for former NBA center Yao Ming.
 
The hoopster-turned-winemakers is the veritable fourth quarter of his winery's crowdfunding campaign, in which he's asking $3 million in order to “expand the business” and build tasting rooms in the United States and China, a recent story by Los Angeles Magazine said. 
 
“With 21 days left in the campaign, Ming is within reach of that sky-high number,” reporter Andy Wang wrote this past Thursday. “The campaign has already gotten commitments for more than $2.4 million, upwards of 80 percent of its goal.”
 
According to Wang's story, whereas the typical crowdfunding campaign asks for small amounts of money – $50, for example – and big sums, Ming's campaign for Yao Family Wines is targeted toward high rollers.
 
“This isn't a “Donate $50, and get a T-shirt”-type campaign,” he wrote. “It actually makes those who put in their money, starting at a $5,000 minimum, investors in a growing company with a $15 million valuation.”
 
Ming's crowdfunding campaign page features detailed information about the investment opportunities, as well as specific information about to which programs the invested money will be put to use.
While Ming's investors won't get a T-shirt, hug or handshake for their fundraising efforts, they will be invited to a shareholder's party.
 
Wang also noted that the highest of the high-rollers – the $1 million investment crowd – will have the privilege of flying to China, staying in a luxury hotel room and attending events at Ming's Shanghai tasting room. 
 
“Investing $5,000 gets you a shareholder party invitation and some wine, but $1 million also gives you two business-class tickets to and a luxury suite at the grand opening of the Shanghai tasting room,” Wang said.
 
The crowdfunding campaign page features a video in which winemaker Tom Hinde. 
“It's my distinct honor to work with Yao Ming. When Yao and I taste, it's Yao who directs the style of the wines. It's his personality that ultimately emerges in the wines,” Hinde said in the video. 
 
According to the Los Angeles Magazine story, money raised for the campaign will also be put toward the company's “direct-to-consumer platform for sales to China,” Wang noted. 
 
The story also pointed out that Yao Family Wines has been in business since 2001. The winery “sold more than $8 million of wine in its first 39 months while racking up impressive Robert Parker and Wine Enthusiast scores,” Wang wrote.