We all see LeBron James on the basketball court and know that he’s an amazing athlete, but did you know that he’s also an amazing businessman? James has built up a huge fortune over his career, more than most professional athletes make. In fact, he’s one of the biggest earners in the NBA. He’s a quick rundown of how much he earns, and how he does it.
LeBron James signed a four year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers
James is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and his stunning career reflects that. He’s won four NBA Most Valuable Player awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, and two Olympic gold medals.
After playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, James signed on with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. He agreed to a four-year contract worth $154 million. While this is a huge amount of money, it’s only a portion of his total income.
One of the perks of being a highly respected NBA player is all the endorsement deals you’re offered, and James has definitely taken advantage of that.
His $154 million dollar contract is a nice chunk of money, but according to sports business expert, Darren Rovell, about 65 percent of James’ income is from endorsements. That’s an even nicer chunk of cash.
A large part of James’ income comes from his deal with Nike to produce the LeBron’s signature sneakers. The highly anticipated shoes, like most athlete-endorsed sneakers, sell like hotcakes for Nike. This means the company is willing to pay a large amount to use LeBron’s name. According to Forbes, James takes home $32 million annually from the sneakers.
At the end of 2015, James signed a lifetime deal with Nike worth over a billion dollars. According to James’ business partner, Maverick Carter, it’s the largest deal in Nike history. But since it’s a lifetime deal for such a huge amount, it means James will need to continue to promote their product, even after retirement.
James does his part to increase sales by promoting the sneakers on his social media accounts. But much of sales are simple due to James’ celebrity-like status. NBA players, especially, have a significant influence on fashion and pop culture. They’re a natural choice for Nike to partner with.
What is LeBron James’ total net worth?
James’ career earnings are well over $1 billion dollars. The Nike deal alone will earn James more than a billion over his lifetime, but he also has his NBA salary, other endorsements, and an emerging career in Hollywood.
However, $1 billion is what James will make over his entire career. That doesn’t mean that’s how much he has right now. Currently, James’ net worth is estimated to be $440 to $450 million dollars.
There are a large number of income streams contributing to that $450 net worth. In addition to his NBA salary and the Nike deal, James is also an investor. He contributed heavily to Blaze Pizza when it was just beginning.
Now it’s the second-fastest-growing pizza chain in the U.S. and James owns a large portion of shares, now worth over $35 million, and 17 of its franchises.
When Apple agreed to buy Beats Music, James made a reported $30 million from the deal. It’s clear that James has his hand in several money pots. But becoming a billionaire has always been something James dream about.
When asked by GQ in 2014 about becoming a billionaire, he said, “If it happens. It’s my biggest milestone. Obviously. I want to maximize my business. And if I happen to get it, if I happen to be a billion-dollar athlete, ho. Hip hip hooray! Oh, my God, I’m gonna be excited.”
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