King James’ style in business
- LeBron is the NBA’s top earner off the court with endorsement income of $42 million a year from the likes of Coca-Cola, Nike, Upper Deck, McDonald’s, Samsung, Audemars Piguet, State Farm, Kia and Dunkin’ Donuts.
- SpringHill Entertainment, led by Maverick Carter, LeBron’s business partner and childhood friend. In late July, Warner Bros. announced a partnership with the company in what they called “an unprecedented agreement.”
The deal includes projects for television, film and original digital content. SpringHill has developed several projects over the years, including:
➤ “The LeBrons,” an animated series from Believe Entertainment Group, featuring characters styled after LeBron. The show is currently in its third season and is available on MSN, Xbox and YouTube.
The four members of the family each represent an aspect of LeBron’s personality competing for control over him.
➤ “Survivor’s Remorse,” a network sitcom for Starz, which follows basketball star Cam Calloway — in his early 20s — who is thrust into the spotlight following a multimillion-dollar contract with a pro basketball team in Atlanta.
➤ “Becoming,” a documentary series about how top athletes got where they are, on Disney XD.
➤ The first-ever NBA fashion show — the “NBA All-Star All-Style” on TNT in association with Turner Sports and IMG in February.
- LRMR, the sports marketing firm founded by LeBron and Carter with friends Randy Mims and Rich Paul. LeBron and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel are major clients. LeBron started the company when he was just 20 years old.
- The Juice Spot, with wife Savannah, is billed as Miami’s first Wi-Fi bar fully equipped with organic cold pressed juices, superfood smoothies and oatmeal bowls.
- UNKNWN, a clothes boutique in Miami’s upscale Aventura Mall.
- Blaze Pizza, which serves three-minute personal pizzas.
- Cannondale Bicycle Corp., invested in 2007. The company was valued at $58 million in 2003, by the time he sold his interest in 2008, it was worth four times as much.
- Beats Electronics LLC, producer of Beats by Dre, secured a deal to get a small stake in Beats in 2008 at its inception in exchange for promoting its high-end headphones. LeBron is reported to have made a profit of more than $30 million in cash and stock when Beats was sold to Apple last year. His payout is believed to be the largest in history to a professional athlete.
- Sheets Energy Strips, caffeinated energy strips that dissolved on the tongue, 2011. LeBron was a co-founder of the company, but sold his equity stake in the brand during the 2012-13 basketball season for a seven-figure profit.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION:
- LeBron plays himself in the Judd Apatow Universal Pictures comedy “Trainwreck.” The film, which opened July 17 with a $30 million weekend debut, stars Amy Schumer, Tilda Swinton and Bill Hader.
LeBron, who plays the role of best friend and love adviser to Hader’s character, has earned rave reviews from movie critics:
“James is the funniest person” — The New Yorker
“LeBron James is a slam dunk” — USA Today
“He’s the movie’s biggest star” — The New York Times
- The 2008 documentary, “More Than a Game,” about LeBron and four of his talented teammates at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School.