How Busy is LeBron James off the Court?
LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world. That is common knowledge. At just 31-years of age, LeBron is in the 13-year of his NBA career. He is a three-time NBA champion, a 12-time All-Star and a three time league Most Valuable Player of the Year with two Olympic gold medals on his resume.
But off the court, LeBron is just as brilliant as he is on it. He is a millionaire who will one day, in the very near future in fact, be a billionaire. It’s easy for Phil Jackson to call LeBron’s business team a “posse” without realizing how intelligent, diligent and business-minded James and his team really are.
As of 2016, according to Forbes, James is the third most paid athlete in the world, right behind Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. He is also the 11th highest paid celebrity in the world.
So basketball contract aside – which if you were wondering has paid LeBron nearly $150-million over the span of his career – what else goes into LeBron’s grandiose pay cheque? What else does this man due in the business world to make his money?
In 2012, LeBron left Leon Rose, his agent of seven-years under the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for Rich Paul. Together with Paul, Maverick Carter, and Randy Mims, all childhood friends of LeBron, the group formed an agent and sports marketing company known as LRMR (AKA the marketing company that helped promote The Decisions).
Throughout his NBA career, James has taken a unique approach to his playing contracts, often times opting to sign shorter term deals, which leaves fanbases in craze when all he does is maximizes his earnings potential and flexibility.
Back in 2007, 22-year old LeBron conveniently befriended Warren Buffet to acquire advice in regards to his business ventures with LRMR.
When coming on CNNMoney, Maverick Carter, now a millionaire in his own right, first notified the world on LeBron’s billionaire aspirations.
“It’s impossible to get to a billion dollars by endorsement deals,” said Carter. “The biggest deals only take you so far. It’s how you make money when you’re asleep that’s going to get you there.”
LeBron is certainly on his way.
3) Endorsement Deal
Before playing his first NBA minute, LeBron conveniently received a seven-year, $90-million deal with Nike, a deal that has since expired and been re-upped to a lifelong contract estimated at over $1-billion.
Other endorsement deals include those with Coca Cola, McDonalds, Samsung, and Dunkin’ Brands. In a 2014 published report, LeBron was reportedly raking in between $38-million and $53-million annually in endorsement deals alone, not including royalties. As of 2014, the same report stated that LeBron has made just over $300-million in endorsement money alone, a number that surely has increased by quite a bit since.
A business man is often evaluated by the investments he makes – whether they are smart business decisions or not. LeBron dove right into the investment market early in his career and has found plenty success in it.
He holds 10% shares in the bike-producing company, Cannondale, and owned shares in Beats By Dre that ESPN reported paid him a reported $30-million when the high-end headphone company was sold to Apple for $3-billion two-years ago.
Lastly, LeBron has minority ownership of the British soccer club, Liverpool.
Yes, LeBron James is a hollywood actor as well and has made around $100-million from the movie industry.
Aside from SpaceJam 2 reports, James has started in the 2015 film, Trainwreck alongside Amy Schumer. He has also appeared in Entourage, Teen Titans Go, and Spongebob Square Pants. LeBron also helped produce and act in two television series: Survivor’s Remorse and The LeBrons.
This does not even include the over 50-other appearances he has made on different shows and telelvision networks.
You could say LeBron is doing quite well for himself.