Clever investments and endorsements have helped NBA player Lebron James become the first active basketball player to become a billionare..
During his basketball career Lebron James has done it all, he is an world record 18-time NBA all-star, 4-time NBA champion, 2-time Olympic gold medalist and Looney Tunes star and now the LA lakers player is the first active basketball player to become a billionare.
Legend Michael Jordan is the only other basketball player to have reached these dizzy heights however he only managed to join this elite club nine years after retiring from the Chicago Bulls.
According to Forbes, "King James" as the player is affectionately known has earnt
close to $385 million in salary from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers over his career but it is his off court investments deals, sponsorships and business ventures that have managed to net him a massive $900 million+ in income.
Forbes estimates that Lebron made:
• More than $300 million from his SpringHill, James production company
• $90 million from Fenway Sports Group, a sports marketing business and investment company owners of Liverpool FC, Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox and half of Roush Fenway Racing and recently the Pittsburgh Penguins.
• About $80 million in real estate holdings, including a $10 million mansion in Akron, Ohio, and two homes in the Los Angeles area for which James paid a combined $59.75 million.
• Interests in the food and beverage industry that include $30 million in pizza chain Blaze Pizza, which James bought a 10% stake in for less than $1 million in 2012.
• About $500 million in cash and investments like the $3 billion sale of Beats by Dre to Apple in 2014, shares of publicly traded fitness company Beachbody, which acquired Ladder, the sports nutrition company James cofounded with Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 2020 for $28 million in stock.
There are only four other active sports stars who have managed to achieve this level of success; Golfer Tiger Woods, boxer Floyd Mayweather, and international soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.