LeBron James has been able to use his stellar play on the basketball court to improve his image and brand for the business side of his life. After all, it’s not easy to become a strong entrepreneur like LeBron has been doing. He’s created multiple businesses but it hasn’t been easy at all.
How Did LeBron James Start His Businesses? Each business that Lebron James has created has had a different story. Some of them were publicly backed by different investors in order to get off the ground and others he jumped in on rather quickly himself and eventually became a majority owner. Some of them, especially once he’d accumulated significant wealth, started from the ground up often with his business partner Maverick Carter. SpringHill Entertainment has been thriving in recent times. It’s something that has grown tremendously over the years with the potential to reach new heights in the coming months.
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SpringHill Entertainment is arguably his most successful business venture, so it’s easy to start off here. James worked closely alongside his business partner Maverick Carter. Together they decided to try and get into the film industry in some way. That was when they came together and created the idea for the company. All that was missing was the funding for it. That was until a ton of investors lined up to help out and attributed roughly $100 million to the cause. All of that money was gathered up and the two business partners put it all towards the film company that they felt would fill a market need and grow rapidly. It quickly launched itself into the spotlight and has helped to create numerous films and television shows that you may know including Space Jam 2, starring LeBron James himself. James currently still holds a majority stake in the company and is their single largest shareholder but has sold a minority stake that was valued to be $725 million. Among the investors that gained the shares were Epic Games and Nike.
Fenway Sports Group
Fenway Sports Group didn’t come about until Carter and James spoke about getting involved in the sports world. They weren’t sure how they wanted to throw themselves into the mix, but they wanted to get started. If they didn’t have this dream, then we likely wouldn’t have seen them invest into Fenway Sports Group and become part owners. After this move, they were able to dive into sports franchises. They currently have a minority stake in Liverpool F.C., an English Premier League soccer team. However, some reports state that they sold most of those shares in order to gain more ownership in Fenway Sports Group themselves. Another franchise they got involved with was the Boston Red Sox. Oh, and there was one more that we almost forgot to mention here. Fenway was recently able to acquire the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins for $900 million, making LeBron partially involved in that franchise as well. The whole reason this was possible in the first place was because the two partners wanted to get into the sports world. Fenway and then just happened to be the perfect match for one another.
LeBron actually talked about his decision to start a business partnership with Blaze Pizza on his other owned business, Uninterrupted. He said that he initially wanted to invest and become a part owner because he loved the product that they were putting forward. He added on that their numbers looked excellent straight away and it sounded like a perfect match. In his own words, “The numbers that we could make if we just put the time in effort into it, would be exceeding what McDonald’s would be giving me guaranteed over the next four years.” This statement was in response to a question that he left McDonald’s in order to fully pursue Blaze Pizza, leaving about $15 million out on the table in doing so. James said that he was super excited to build a franchise and improve upon it along the way. He also said, “I was like, who doesn’t like pizza? I don’t know a person in the world who doesn’t like pizza, I don’t care what kind of diet you’re on!” I can’t say many people are able to argue with LeBron on that one, but it’s the kind of excitement that got him started with this business venture. Blaze is doing all that they can in order to make their operations international as we speak and have already grown to hundreds of different properties around the country.
Reasons Why LeBron Has Been So Successful
It takes a ton of hard work and tough decision-making skills in order to get to the point where LeBron is at right now. Starting all of these businesses is incredibly difficult and needs precise measurements before diving full in. LeBron has been able to continue starting up these businesses because he doesn’t just look for a quick check. Some entrepreneurs involve themselves on projects just so that they can quickly get paid and move onto the next project with minimal losses. James instead goes the other route, just like how he did with McDonalds. Leaving them in order to gamble money on an investment with the Blaze Pizza chain. LeBron has also taken equity in other brands like Tonal and Lyft instead of just signing on for a fast endorsement and then walking away from the brand completely. The same can be said about his contract with Nike. He didn’t just aim his decision at the largest offer that was thrown onto the table. He weighed his options out and rolled with Nike even though there were other companies that offered more initially. Look at that choice now. LeBron is rumored to be earning $1 billion on a lifetime contract with the shoe company. So again, the question is raised, how did he start these businesses? Simply put, LeBron remained patient and stuck with long term goals rather than just aiming for a quick buck in the short term. It’s why all of those previously mentioned companies have done so well.