Basketball Great LeBron James’ Investment In English Soccer Team Is Paying Off
Seems basketball superstar LeBron James is a soccer fan–at least when it comes to money-making investments.
Back in 2011 James received a 2 percent stake in the Liverpool Football Club, a top-tier English soccer team, when James’ marketing firm agreed to a joint venture with Fenway Sports Partners. Its owners, Boston Red Sox John Henry and Red Sox chairman Tom Wener, bought Liverpool in October 2010 for $477 million. James was given the stake in lieu of $6.5 million. That 2 percent stake is now worth about $32 million, Bloomberg reported. This equals about five times as large.
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“The club has risen tremendously in value since then, to $1.49 billion in Forbes’ most recent valuations last June,” Sports Illustrated reported.
Liverpool competes in the Premier League and has won 5 European Cups, 3 UEFA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups,18 League titles, 7 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, and 15 FA Community Shields. The club was founded in 1892, and was the ninth highest-earning football club in the world in 2016–17. It is also the world’s eighth most valuable football club in 2017. So all-in-all not a bad investment for James.
James has many other investments including Mars Reel, a Los Angeles-based media company that streams sports content featuring amateur athletes and high school basketball. The company not long ago entered a content-sharing agreement with James’ digital media company Uninterrupted. James launched Uninterrupted with his business partner Maverick Carter launched in 2014. It raised $15.8 million in 2015,
According to many experts, James is a savvy investor. Even Warren Buffett has praised him. The King has amassed more than $129 million from his NBA salary, but according to Forbes, “this represents less than 30 percent of the more than $450 million in total earnings he’s made since 2004, including endorsements.”
James has had deals with several companies, including Nike, Samsung, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and State Farm, and lawnmower maker Cub Cadet and Juice Batteries. And there have been big investments. “He invested in Beats Electronics before it was sold to Apple–which reportedly netted him $30 million,” Forbes reported.
Shooting guard Iman Shumpert told NBC News he is impressed with James money handling. James is extremely frugal, he added. “If I ever wanted to have someone on the team invest my money, it’d be LeBron.”
James is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. So far, he has won three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, three NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Additionally, James is a 14-time NBA All-Star, 11-time All-NBA first teamer, and five-time All-Defensive first teamer. He is currently his team’s all-time scoring leader, the NBA All-Star Game career scoring leader, and the NBA career playoff scoring leader.
And now, he’s a mastermind, it seems, when it comes to investments.