NBA players need to be smart about their finances as they don’t have the same salary structure as people working 9-to-5 desk jobs. The league pays these professional basketball athletes per season. Furthermore, player performance in playoffs is one of the primary determinants as to how much money the athlete gets per season. NBA celebrity LeBron James understands this financial importance by heart, which is one of the reasons why he struck a deal with Liverpool FC.
In 2011, Lebron James met with Liverpool FC officials to strike a deal. At that time, the parties agreed that James would have a 2% share of the $44 million football club. James paid $6.5 million to acquire that share, allowing the NBA player to gain significant financial returns from the shared stock.
How did this deal go down? Also, how did LeBron James know about Liverpool FC? Do other NBA players own sports clubs? Find the answers to these questions as you read more of this article.
Liverpool Football Club or Liverpool FC is a certified football club headquartered in Liverpool, England. This club came to be after a dispute between John Houlding, the owner and club president of an Anfield land, and the Everton committee in 1892.
Liverpool FC’s first match is in September of the same year it originated. It was a pre-season friendly match against the football club at Rotherham Town, in which Liverpool won 7 – 1. At that time, each member of the Liverpool club was Scottish known as the Scotch Professors.
After a win at the Lancashire League, the Liverpool FC joined the Football League Second Division in 1893. Three years later, the club was promoted to the First Division with Tom Watson appointed as the organization’s manager.
In 1914, the Liverpool FC reached its first FA Cup Final. However, the team lost to Burnley by one point. The Liverpool team didn’t let this loss become water under the bridge as the players wanted more victories. As such, this particular football club won consecutive League championships from 1922 to 1923. But it wasn’t until the 1946 to 1947 season before the FC won its first trophy.
Today, Liverpool FC is one of the leading clubs in the Premier League, which is the top-tier football association in Europe. The club even attained multiple achievements and records during the 2018 to 2019 season, including defeating Tottenham Hotspur with a score of 2 – 0. Securing that win made Liverpool win the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final. The Liverpool club also won against Brazil’s Flamengo, securing the FIFA Club World Cup championship for the first time in its history.
What is the LeBron James Liverpool FC Deal?
NBA player LeBron James now owns a minority share of the Liverpool FC at 2%. However, James sees this deal as more than a simple financial investment.
As mentioned previously, Liverpool FC won the European Club Final. At that time, the club also secured its 6th European Cup title. James was ecstatic upon hearing the news as he even tweeted about it.
His passion for the European Football League and the Liverpool FC drove him to strike a deal with the club. The professional basketball player is also a fan of European football as was apparent with the enthusiasm in his tweets. In other words, LeBron James is more than a financial partner but also a legitimate Liverpool football fan.
James, along with his marketing firm, talked with Liverpool FC officials Fenway Sports Partners. In 2009, it was Fenway Sports Partners that bought the Liverpool FC for $477 million. Many might think that this price is quite small when looking at today’s standards. However, at that time, it was more than enough to shake hands and sign contracts.
Take note that Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and owner John Henry own Fenway Sports Partners. After the acquisition, several online rumors and skepticism began to surface. However, those doubts soon disappeared as Liverpool FC showed the team’s dominance across many professional football games.
How did LeBron James Strike a Deal with Liverpool FC in 2011?
As it stands, LeBron James and Liverpool FC officials hid the specifics of the deal behind closed doors. Nonetheless, the deal is really as both Fenway Sports Management and LeBron’s marketing team LRMR spoke in a press release.
Here are some of the highlights of the announcement:
Despite most of the world not knowing how the deal went down, the share’s estimate value remains clear. James will receive 2% of the football club’s assets, which he accepted happily.
Did LeBron James Watch a Liverpool Game?
LeBron James is more than a Liverpool FC shareholder, but he’s also a sincere fan of that specific European football club. He has been seen to go to some Liverpool games at Anfield, specifically in a match against Manchester United in 2011.
Do Other NBA Players Own Sports Clubs?
Many NBA players aren’t only fans of basketball. These professional basketball athletes are also avid admirers of other sports. Furthermore, LeBron James isn’t the only European football lover in the NBA. Other athletes in the league also share the same passion and have also partnered with other sports clubs.
Kevin Durant and the Philadelphia Union
James Harden and the Houston Dynamo
In 2019, James Harden bought a 5% minority share in Houston’s soccer team, the Houston Dynamo. Harden says he is a fan of the sport and wanted a piece of the Texan team’s pie to bring more fans to soccer.
Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles FC
Ex-NBA player and businessman Magic Johnson bought a stake in the Los Angeles FC in 2014. He joined a group of investors, which included other celebrities like Will Ferrell and Tony Robbins, in becoming a minority partner with the city’s soccer club. Like James, Johnson can sometimes be seen watching official soccer matches.
Aside from Durant, Harden, and Johnson, an honorable mention to this list is Kobe Bryant who passed away tragically in January 2020. This NBA superstar and legend almost became an investor of the Bologna FC in 2014. However, the deal never materialized and only speculations and rumors exist as to why this partnership never happened.
LeBron James became a 2% minority stock shareholder of the Liverpool FC in 2011. James is a legitimate fan of soccer and this specific European football club is one of his admired teams. The club is now worth millions of dollars, allowing James to share in the glory of that football organization’s financial success. For more information about the world of basketball, make sure to check out Make-Shots.