7 Reasons LeBron James Amassed Billion Dollar Empire

NBA legend LeBron James has recently amassed $1 billion in career earnings. Although being a superstar basketball player is a wealthy profession, no athlete has earned a billion solely off of their sport. His accomplishment wouldn’t be possible without the talents he possesses on the basketball court. He is consistently referred to as the best current player on the planet and some believe he’s the greatest NBA player ever. James certainly gets paid like that as he was the highest earning athlete in the 2010s.  A mantra during recent years is that he’s more than an athlete, which is undoubted given the way he operates from a business standpoint. Here are seven reasons why LeBron James has built a billion dollar empire.

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RELATED: NBA Had A $6.865 Billion Basketball Related Income For 2019-20

7 Successful Basketball Career

Quite simply, LeBron James would not have earned a billion dollars if wasn’t for his superstar status in the NBA. His talents on the basketball court have given him opportunities to pursue other avenues outside of the sport. During his 18 year career, he earned $343.8 million, making him the highest paid player in league history. When his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers expires, his career earnings will be at $435 million. Even though he’s in his 18th season, it’s not a reach that he could still be still playing after his contract ends.

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6 Shoe Deal with Nike

He was the most hyped prospect the NBA has ever had and many looked at him as the heir to Michael Jordan. Nike bought into the hype, giving an 18 year old LeBron James a 7 year contract for $90 million before his NBA debut. This gave young LeBron an incredible start as he was earning from $12 million Nike alone. Many years later, declining Reebok’s $115 million offer payed off as now he has a lifetime contract with Nike that’s worth a billion dollars.

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5 Career in Hollywood

His move to Los Angeles might have not only been a basketball decision, but to launch his career after the NBA. So far in his career, he’s had four movie roles. At this point, his most noteworthy roles were in More Than Game, a documentary about James’s high basketball career, and Trainwreck, a romantic comedy where he plays a fictional version of himself. He is a producer of six movies currently in development. Later this year, LeBron will be starring in the sequel to Space Jam and taking on Michael Jordan’s role in the original 1996 film. When he retires, don’t be surprised if his input is all over Hollywood.

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4 Circle of Friends

Every billionaire ever has had help along the way. Not only does James have a solid team on the court, he has one off the court as well. This three man dynamic includes business partners Maverick Carter, Randy Mims, and agent Rich Paul. Maverick Carter has played a major role for James getting the billion deal from Nike and other endorsements such as Beats headphones. They have also launched two companies in Uninterrupted and SpringHill Entertainment. Rich Paul is a high profile agent with a numerous amount of NBA stars who are his clients. Randy Mims is chief of staff for LeBron and has an executive role with the Lakers.

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3 Endorsements on Top of Endorsements 

With the long list  James has, he earns $55 million a year with them. Sprite, McDonald’s, Verizon, Kia and Dunkin’ Donuts are other notable endorsements he’s had besides Nike and Beats. Blaze Pizza doesn’t have the name recognition compared to other James sponsors, but he made it worth it by investing into the company. Since he invested in 2012, Forbes reports that Blaze Pizza has the fastest growth for a chain restaurant ever. To put it into perspective, he makes about $18 million more with endorsements than he does in a full NBA season.

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2 Instagram

For each sponsored Instagram post, he gets $300,000 and possibly even more. This makes him the highest earner for NBA players on Instagram. Mayah Riaz, a celebrity manager, says that LeBron gets paid that much because his fans are invested with him and he can an audience better than traditional promotional strategies.

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1 Owner of Liverpool FC

In 2010, he agreed to a joint deal with the owner of Liverpool FC, John Henry and Tom Werner, in order to own a small percentage of the team. Even though it isn’t much, Liverpool value has been increasing throughout the years of James’ ownership. Them winning the UEFA championship in the 2018-2019 season made them worth $2.183 billion. As a result, James now making from $43 million from his stake on the team compared the $6.5 million he made when he first got ownership.

Sources: Sportscasting, Business Insider, Sports Keeda, Clutch Points, Youtube, Movie Insider, USA Today, Insider.com

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