Thursday, December 6, 2007
Billion Dollar Bron Bron

LeBron James is the smartest 80's Baby (12/30/84) in America. Yours truly (12/23/84) included. Got his NBA games televised in High School. He's paid more from Nike than the NBA. Fired his agent and hired his (incredibly sharp) homeboys. And he's on pace to reach a billion before Jay-Z, Diddy, 50 Cent, Russell and even Michael Jordan. This Fortune Magazine breaks down his business model well. Maverick Carter seems to be the new Steve Stoute. Very inspiring for any crack baby.

Now if he can only play through a sprained (read: jammed) finger on his NON-SHOOTING HAND, I would be in first place in my fantasy league. LeBron cost me about 200 points! But I digress. Maybe he's too focused on business. Not enough heart. That killer Kobe instinct. The finishing skills of Jordan. Only time will tell if all his business sauvy will get in the way of championships.

Here's some snippets (click anywhere for the whole story):

Instead of just lining up endorsements and cashing checks, James is seeking equity in the companies he works with; and he is using his on-court prowess to build a corporation that deals with entities as disparate as Bubblicious and Warren Buffett.

"What I do on the court will drive revenue," says James. He's also picky about his partners, always asking himself, "Is it authentic? I know I can go out and sign a lot of endorsements and get checks. Money is not the issue.

The arrangement has worked, not least because LRMR has associated itself with top-shelf accountants and lawyers, not to mention Warren Buffett, who dispenses financial advice when asked. "If LeBron were an IPO, I'd buy it," he says.

At 22, the age at which most NBA players are just entering the league, James has a four-year headstart when it comes to generating revenue. He's already the NBA's endorsement king, bringing in an estimated $25 million from his various deals this year. That's in addition to his nearly $13 million salary from the Cavaliers.

Overall, he has about $170 million in sponsorship deals. In this figure is the $90 million from Nike, $15 million from Coke, $6 million from Upper Deck, $4.5 million from Bubblicious, and $7.5 million from Cub Cadet. His deal with MSN included $3 million upfront, and the partners will soon begin a phase in which Microsoft and LRMR will share advertising revenues sold on MSN's LeBron site - 60% for LRMR and 40% for MSN.

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posted by Sickamore @ 11:08 AM  
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