Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

LeBron James’ move this week to buy into a professional pickleball team is unlikely to weigh heavily on his pocketbook.

The Los Angeles Laker star became a billionaire earlier this year due to his mix of real estate holdings, ownership in sports teams, and many sponsorship and endorsement deals, according to a Forbes estimate that pegged his net worth at $1.2 billion. That milestone is one James has been working toward for almost a decade. In a 2014 interview with GQ, he said he was working to maximize his business ventures and that he would be excited to one day hit the billion-dollar mark.  

James’ endorsements and business ventures have generated about $900 million in income, Forbes estimates. Then there’s basketball. James, who will start his 20th season in the NBA next month, has played for three teams and earned $385 million in total salary on the court, Forbes reported. More recently, he signed a two-year contract with the Lakers worth $97.1 million in a deal that made him the highest-earning NBA player in history, according to Bloomberg. 

Forbes estimates that James, 37, is the second-highest earning athlete in the world behind Paris Saint-Germain soccer player Lionel Messi. 

The unnamed Major League Pickleball team isn’t James’ first dive into sports ownership. He bought a stake in British soccer club Liverpool FC in 2011 and also is a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox. Those investment account for about $90 million of his net worth, Forbes said.

James has a long list of company endorsements, including AT&T, Crypto.com, GMC, Pepsi, Rimowa and Walmart, according to Sportico. In 2015 he signed a lifetime endorsement contract with Nike, with which James had signed a $90 million contract just before graduating high school. 


Maverick Carter, CEO of LeBron James’ company, discusses new investors and growth in media empire

05:30

James also once served as a spokesman for Blaze Pizza and even starred in commercials promoting the pizzeria. He now has a 10% ownership stake in the company, which added $30 million to his net worth, Forbes said. 

Among his other assets, James owns a TV and movie production company called SpringHill that he started in 2020 with business partner Maverick Carter. The company helped produce cartoon hoops movie Space Jam 2, in which James was the lead actor. SpringHill also produces a show for HBO Max called “The Shop: Uninterrupted” that James occasionally hosts. Nike, Epic Games and other companies invested in SpringHill last October, helping push the production company’s valuation to an estimated $725 million. 

Forbes also estimates that James owns three houses worth about $80 million — a mansion in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, another estate in Beverly Hills, California, and a third home in Los Angeles. 



Source link