The Lebron Effect: How Nike’s deal with Liverpool has King James’s name written all over it

The Lebron Effect: How Nike’s deal with Liverpool has King James’s name written all over it

With Liverpool about to sign a historic $91 million sponsorship deal with Nike, it’s hard not to think of the man who helped tee it up — King James.

That’s right. One of the best basketball player’s of all-time is also an excellent investor. He made $30 million in 2014 when Beats by Dre sold to Apple. But one of Lebron’s most prized assets is Liverpool Football Club where he owns a 2% stake as part of his involvement with Fenway Sports Group (FSG).

James partnered with the marketing firm owned by the Boston Red Sox back in 2011. The company operates as the sole marketer of the global rights for the three-time NBA Champion and four-time league MVP.

How much is Lebron’s minority investment in LFC actually worth?

Lebron’s minority stake in Liverpool has ballooned in value over the last eight years.

His original investment in the team via the FSG joint-venture is estimated to be around $6.5 million. According to ESPN, which evaluated his portfolio in 2018, his stake has grown at least fives times since then.

The club has been undergoing a tremendous revamp since the arrival of head coach Jurgen Klopp four years ago. The German finally ended his own trophy drought by leading the Reds to the Champions League title last year.

With Liverpool likely contenders to repeat European glory and win their first title of the Premier League era this season, Lebron’s investment looks even more prescient — worth at least a total of $45M today.

“It has been a thrill to watch such a storied club make their way back to the top again and to be a part of it all. LeBron likes the fact that he’s diversified in another global sport,” said James’s business partner Maverick Carter.

Even more, Nike’s potential apparel partnership with Liverpool — what would be the richest in the Premier League — gives Lebron the go-ahead to sport Liverpool gear in public.

Liverpool’s deal with New Balance expires at the end of this season. Expect a special edition Lebron #23 kit release this time next year.

According to Liverpool Echo, CEO, entrepreneur, and businessman Lebron James is also on the verge of striking a content partnership between his media company Uninterruped and team Liverpool as well.

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