LeBron James breaks records even without playing. After the end of the 2020-21 season, he became the only active player in the NBA to have generated revenues of up to $1 billion, 70% of which comes off the field, due to commercial relationships with various brands.
Michael Jordan is still the highest paid basketball player in history, with more than $2 billion to date, although most of them came after his official retirement in 2003 and after a sponsorship boom with Nike and the United States. Famous tennis shoes in honor of his title.
However, LeBron managed to be the first to add that number, thanks to his 330 million salary over 17 NBA seasons, as well as the 700 built in his sponsorship with brands like AT&T, Beats, Blaze Pizza, GMC and Nike and PepsiCo.
In the past 20 years, there have been other athletes who have raised $1,000 million throughout their careers, but in other sports, such as Tiger Woods in golf, Floyd Mayweather in boxing, Roger Federer in tennis, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in soccer. In that sense, LeBron is the first American to do so in a team sport.
The NBA is the fastest way for team sports stars to make money, turning them into global icons with the help of brands like Nike and Adidas.
This allows basketball players to make endorsement deals that go beyond what a basketball or NBA player could earn. Luka Doncic, for example, could net a $200 million deal in five years.
In addition to the end of the NBA season, in July 2021, LeBron James released his movie Space Jam: A New Legacy, which managed to raise $31.6 million in its weekend launch in the United States, beating a forecast of 20 million. It even surpassed Marvel’s Black Widow, which grossed $26.3 million in two weekends.
Within his entrepreneurial profile, LeBron James owns SpringHill Communications, with an estimated value of $750 million and has 120 employees and three business lines: production, athlete empowerment, and a marketing agency.
The basketball player is also associated with the Fenway Sports Group and owns a percentage ownership of the Boston Red Sox, the major league team and Liverpool from the English Premier League.
At the athletic level, James has won four NBA Championships (2012, 2013, 2016 and 2020), was the league’s best player four times and four times in the Finals, the highest scorer in Cleveland Cavaliers history and 17 times as a nominee. to the NBA All-Star Game.
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