LeBron James Apparently Made More Than A Billion Dollars Off Beats By Dre
Even with his billion-dollar Nike lifetime deal, the vast production network, the endorsement deals and his bumper NBA salary, LeBron James seems an NBA player wired as much for making money as he his for putting up game-winning jumpers from just beyond the key.
In fact, there's probably an argument to be made that as a hybrid of businessman and athlete, he could well be the most productive athlete of his generation.
However while many of them (think Floyd Mayweather) relied very much on the reputation their sporting prowess afforded them, LeBron has instead taken his portfolio in a more diverse direction. And every year, it becomes clear that it's made him a hell of a lot of money.
Athlete investors are, of course, nothing new. The horror stories of NBA and NFL athletes squandering their paychecks and declaring bankruptcy has helped inspire a generation of business-savvy sportsmen building a lucrative life for themselves once their careers come to a close. And King James has become something of a pioneer on this front, not only setting up the production company that'll help produce LeBron's own blockbuster Space Jam sequel, but adding a string of savvy investments to his name. And one of these could be set to make him a bona-fide billionaire sooner, rather than later.
According to an interview James' former team-mate Larry Perkins gave to Golden State Warriors Podcast Runnin' Plays, while he was playing with James at the Cleveland Cavaliers, future hall-of-famer became a silent investor in headphone and electronics company Beats by Dre, the popularity of which nowadays speaks for itself.
Beats' acquisition by Apple made those heavily invested in the company a lot of money, famously minting Dr. Dre as one of hip-hop's first true billionaires in the process. But according to Perkins, as part of Beats' long-running endorsement deal with James, the basketball player also got a lucrative stake in the company, earning him a huge paycheque when the deal went through.
"He invested $4 million in a soccer team and all of a sudden he's worth $30 million," Perkins said, referring to the 2% stake of Liverpool FC that he acquired back before the club was revived into the world-conquering goliath it is today. "When Dr. Dre got the big contract for the Beats by Dre, when they wrote him that check, LeBron James got $700 million USD off of it. He was a silent investor in the Beats and nobody knows this."
"The crazy thing to me about LeBron James is that he is the chosen one in life," said Perkins. "I tell him all the time 'I really hate you. I hate you!' And he'll be like 'What you mean, Perk?!' 'I hate you because everything you touch turns into gold!"
He ain't wrong.