NBA

LeBron James’ ownerships on the way to becoming a billionaire in 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 22: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers poses for a photo as he gets his 2019-20 NBA Championship ring during the ring ceremony before the game against the LA Clippers on December 22, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

When LeBron James entered the NBA in 2003, he was immediately tipped to become the next Michael Jordan. Now, according to Forbes, after 18 seasons of domination in the NBA. The four-time MVP will follow in the footsteps of his idol off the court as well by becoming a billionaire. Just the second basketball player to achieve this feat after MJ.

James’ achievements on the basketball court have sometimes made him appear super-human. And throughout his career, he has matched that super-human nature off the court. Typically, athletes star in commercials, telling consumers a product to buy, but LeBron has been different. He only endorses brands that he believes in. In most cases, he becomes a beneficiary, putting him on the verge of becoming a billionaire.

The beginning of the billionaire fortune

As an 18-year-old senior in high school in Akron, Ohio, James had already become a star. Having featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and had his games broadcast nationally on ESPN. This began a war amongst the sneaker companies to sign the ‘next Jordan’.

The biggest shoe companies in basketball came calling Adidas, Reebok, and of course, Nike. They all wanted James in their shoes when he took to an NBA floor for the first time, but LeBron only had eyes for one, Nike. Although they were not the highest bidder. Nike was the brand that James associated with greatness, the brand he had dreamed of wearing. It didn�t matter that Adidas had outfitted James� high school basketball team or that Reebok offered more upfront money. What did matter was that Nike was considered the best of the best. A brand that James wanted to represent and a brand that made Jordan a billionaire.

While James does have some traditional endorsement deals with companies like  AT&T, Pepsi, and Calm, he also has equity in a number of brands:

Companies owned by LeBron James

Fenway Sports Group

In 2011, Fenway Sports Group became the sole global marketer of James’ rights. As part of the deal, James became a minority stake owner in Liverpool FC, which FSG owns. This deal also allowed him and longtime business partner Maverick Carter, to become part owners of the Boston Red Sox. They may both now be in a position to have their input in major decisions that the franchise makes.

SpringHill Entertainment

James owns SpringHill Entertainment, and it’s his entryway into the filmmaking business. The name SpringHill comes from the Section-8 housing in which James spent part of his childhood. This company has produced shows and the upcoming “Space Jam: A New Legacy” movie that James is starring in.

Uninterrupted

When Fox News� Laura Ingraham went on a rant about James� political interests, she finished it with the phrase, �shut up and dribble�. That moment sparked James� ability to control his own media narrative. By creating his own media company. UNINTERRUPTED is a platform for athletes to tell their own stories. It started as short videos on Twitter or Instagram and now has evolved into podcasts and feature-length films. With the tagline �More Than An Athlete,� it allows athletes to express who they are on their terms.

Blaze Pizza

James got into the pizza game in 2012 when he and his business partners made a small investment (by their standards) into Blaze Pizza. The group invested roughly $1 million into the small pizza chain, and it has exploded. Now, you can find James tweeting about Blaze Pizza from time to time while his investment in the company continues to grow. There was even the video of James working at a Blaze Pizza, claiming to be �Ron� while behind the counter helping customers. 

Ladder

This is probably the least-known of the James-owned properties so far, but he and his trainer, Mike Mancias, have created Ladder.

Ladder is a �sports nutrition company dedicated to creating high-performance, NSF Certified for Sport workout supplements for daily use. We formulate products to complement a strong nutritional foundation and unlock the next level in training and exercise.� In this venture, James is partnered with legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger.�

James has a stake in all of these companies and actively helps to make decisions.

LeBron showed he had a strong head on his shoulders when he signed with Nike back in 2003, despite getting better offers. This has continued to serve him well throughout his career and the way things are going he is likely to have just as successful a career after basketball as he did during.

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