LeBron James is officially a billionaire

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He only missed the playoffs for the fourth time in 19 seasons, but LeBron still scores as the first active NBA player to make our list.

LeBron James – 18-time NBA all-star, 4-time NBA champion, 2-time Olympic gold medalist – has taken another step forward, this time doing something no other NBA player has never done.

After another monster year of revenue – totaling $121.2 million last year –Forbes believes that James officially became a billionaire, while playing hoop.

The 37-year-old superstar has a net worth of $1 billion, per Forbes‘ count. James, who misses the playoffs for only the fourth time in 19 seasons, is the first active NBA player to make the billionaires list. (Michael Jordan, the only other basketball billionaire, only hit ten figures in 2014, more than a decade after his retirement, thanks to a timely investment in the Charlotte Hornets basketball team. )

“It’s my biggest step,” James told GQ in a prophetic interview in 2014. “Obviously. I want to maximize my business. ! Oh, my God, I’m going to be excited.”


“That’s my biggest step, 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 going to be excited.”

-James Lebron


That’s exactly what James did: maximize his business, to the tune of over $1.2 billion in pre-tax profits. He received more than $385 million in salary from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers as the NBA’s highest-paid active player. Off the court, he has raked in over $900 million in revenue from endorsements and other business ventures.

Born to a struggling 16-year-old single mother in Akron, Ohio, James has lived with an assortment of family, friends, neighbors and his peewee football coach – moved a dozen times in three years – before becoming the most fashionable high school. all-time basketball prospect. He signed his first contract with Nike in 2003, aged 18, rejecting offers from Reebok and Adidas in favor of what he considered the best long-term partner. Good call. After more than a decade of success, he struck a lifetime deal with Nike in late 2015 that earns him tens of millions a year. Last year, thanks to Nike and deals with brands like AT&T, PepsiCo and Walmart, he was the second highest-earning athlete in the world.

But the real key to James’ billion-dollar fortune: he was more than just a pitchman. James has long structured deals to give him shares in the brands he partners with, giving him a share of the upside instead of a quick paycheck. In 2015, James walked away from an endorsement deal with McDonald’s, worth an estimated $15 million over four years, to instead bet on fast-growing chain Blaze Pizza, where he is an investor. He has also taken stakes in brands such as smart gym maker Tonal and ride-sharing giant Lyft.

Then there’s SpringHill, the TV and film production company started by James and his business partner Maverick Carter. Last October, outside investors including Boston Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group and Epic Games joined in the venture, which helped produce the $163 million (global box office gross) ). Space Jam: A New Legacy and HBO documentary What is my name: Muhammad Ali–at a valuation of $725 million. James, of course, remains the largest shareholder.


Here’s a breakdown of LeBron James’ estimated $1 billion fortune.

James declined to comment Forbes‘ estimates.

THE SPRING HILL COMPANY: $300 MILLION


Named after the Akron, Ohio apartment complex where James and his mother eventually found stability, SpringHill combined three companies into one: marketing agency James’ Robot Company, platform -form of Uninterrupted athletes and SpringHill Entertainment, founded in 2007 as a production vehicle for the award. winning documentary about James’ high school years, More than a game.

In 2020, James and Carter it all rolled into The SpringHill Company after raising $100 million from backers including James’ investment adviser Paul Wachter and Elisabeth Murdoch, the daughter of News Corp billionaire Rupert Murdoch. Last October, James sold a “significant minority stake” at a valuation of $725 million to a handful of investors, including RedBird Capital Partners, Fenway Sports Group, Nike and Epic Games. James is the company’s largest single shareholder, although his stake does not exceed 50%.

SpringHill, which helped produce 2021 Space Jam: A New Legacy– with James – and a recent Netflix docuseries about tennis star Naomi Osaka, is currently working on a biopic about James’ early life and a remake of the 1990 comedy house partywhich is slated to hit HBO Max in July.

FENWAY SPORTS GROUP: $90 MILLION


James publicly dreamed of one day owning an NBA team. He left well. The basketball star already has professional baseball, soccer and hockey teams among his holdings.

James took a minority stake in Liverpool FC, England’s Premier League football team, in 2011 when his sports marketing business entered into a partnership with Fenway Sports Group. Last year, he and Maverick Carter swapped their Liverpool stakes for a co-ownership of FSG.

James is estimated to own around 1% of the group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and Liverpool, plus half of Roush Fenway Racing and 80% of the New England Sports Network. In late 2021, FSG agreed to pay around $900 million to add the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins to its portfolio.

IMMOVABLE: $80 MILLION


James lived like a billionaire for years. He owns at least three properties, with a total value of around $80 million. He built a $10 million mansion near his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He bought an 8-bedroom apartment in the Tony Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2017 for $23 million. His latest splurge: a 13,000 square foot mansion in Beverly Hills. James paid $36.75 million for the 1930s hilltop house, which he has already torn down to replace with his own mansion.

BLAZE PIZZA: $30 MILLION


James has been involved with Blaze Pizza for years, even working behind the counter and walking the streets handing out pies to promote the brand. His enthusiasm is understandable. He reportedly paid less than $1 million for a 10% share of the assembly line-style made-to-order pizza chain in 2012; it has since grown to over 300 company-owned and franchised stores across the United States and Canada. Forbes estimates James’ stake in the chain — plus his small cut of 18 Blaze franchise stores in Florida and Illinois that are run by restaurateur Larry Levy — at around $30 million.

CASH AND OTHER INVESTMENTS: OVER $500 MILLION


It’s expensive to live like LeBron, but even after factoring in a superstar’s managers, agents, lawyers, and spending habits, Forbes still believes James has over half a billion dollars in net assets beyond what is listed above. This includes proceeds from major scores, like the $3 billion sale of Beats by Dre to Apple in 2014 (James was a spokesperson and owned a small chunk) and shares of publicly traded fitness company Beachbody, which acquired Ladder, the sports nutrition company co-founded by James. with Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 2020 for $28 million in stock.

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