The Numbers Behind LeBron's Move

You can go ahead and bet your last 2 quarters on LeBron becoming a billionaire.

By:
Stefon Walters

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Sun Jul 08 2018 15:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

LeBron James, the greatest basketball player in the world, recently announced via his agency's Instagram account (gotta love 2018) that he would be signing a contract to go play for the city famous for its weed, weather, and women -- Los Angeles. He signed a four-year contract worth $154 million. That's a lot of money, fam. Even with a contract this high, it's worth noting that he could have stayed in Cleveland (yuck) and signed for five-years and just over $200 million. Aside from the fact that one city is Los Angeles and the other is Cleveland, LeBron is smart enough to know that off the court business opportunities in LA would far outweigh those in The Land.

The Lakers brand goes far beyond just America, they're a global franchise and the NBA's most storied franchise. Add basketball's biggest superstar to that mix and you can see the dollar signs [flowing like when they count sheep to fall asleep in cartoons]. After this contract, he will become the highest paid player in NBA history, with career on-court earnings approaching more than $387 million. Sounds like a lot, right? Check this out: even before this contract plays out, LeBron has already made over $750 million in his career when you factor in endorsements. He's rich as hell, dawg.

Nike, Sprite, Kia, and Beats by Dre make up the bulk of his endorsement income, but it's his other business ventures and opportunities that will put him in the billionaire category. He makes about $30 million per year with his lifetime Nike contract. Which, in itself, could make him a billion dollars over its span. His deal with Beats pays him about $4 million each year and this doesn't include the $30 million he made when they were sold to Apple.  

LeBron also has a 10% stake in Blaze Pizza. This stake was worth about $35 million at this time last year, according to ESPN. Given Blaze's success, this amount is increasing faster than gas prices. In fact, LeBron helped Blaze become the fastest growing food service business in American history. Talk about influence. He could probably convince an atheist to attend bible study.

 

Oh yeah, did I mention that he also owns a media company (Uninterrupted) which received $16 million in funding, as well as a production company (SpringHill Entertainment). And to make us feel even broker, LeBron decided that he would buy a 2% stake in the soccer team Liverpool -- a team worth $1.9 Billion. I'll spare you the trouble of opening the calculator app on your phone and tell you that 2% of $1.9 billion is $38 million. Feeling broke yet?

Take LeBron's stardom and global brand, add it in a pot with his business IQ, sprinkle a serving of LA opportunities in there, cut the stove on medium-high, work your wrist a little bit, and out is destined to come the next billionaire athlete.

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