Right before the MLB season kicked off, LeBron James took his burgeoning business empire to the next level, becoming the latest NBA superstar, to take an ownership stake in Major League Baseball.
James and private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners are set to purchase stakes in the Boston Red Sox totaling 12%, according to a report by Axios. Majority owner John Henry has agreed to sell around 11% to RedBird and 1% to James.
Voice Of The People
The Boston Globe reported that James along with his business partner and friend Maverick Carter had recently joined Fenway Sports Group (FSG).
In doing so, they become the first Black partners in the 20-year history of the organization. Since purchasing the Red Sox and Fenway Park in 2002, the team has claimed four World Series Championships.
Shares aside, the deal extends far beyond the boundaries of the diamond.
The two now also have partial ownership of other FSG subsidiaries, in areas ranging from NASCAR (Roush Fenway Racing), the NESN regional sports cable network, and Fenway Sports Management (FSM).
As James continues to grow his portfolio and do business with all races of people, he continues to support any and all efforts to end systemic racism in this country. The newly-minted MLB owner applauded the league’s unanimous decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game and Draft out of Atlanta
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 2, 2021
James’ relationship with Fenway Sports dates back to 2011 when FSM acquired 50% of his marketing and brand rights while he was still a member of the Miami Heat, making it the exclusive representative for James in partnership with his LRMR firm. James also received a 2% ownership stake in Liverpool Football Club of the English Premier League.
FSG, with an estimated value of more than $6.6 billion dollars is one of the largest sports conglomerates in the world, ranking only behind Kroenke Sports ($8.4 billion) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ($6.9 billion).
They now unite with perhaps the most recognizable athlete in the world, and certainly one of the wealthiest. James has an estimated fortune of $500 million and a burgeoning business empire of his own.
Besides owning shares in two sports franchises, he operates his own production (SpringHill Entertainment) and media (Uninterrupted) companies, a health and wellness company, and is an owner of several Blaze Pizza franchises and an investor in the company.
Carry On Tradition
LeBron joins fellow Laker great Magic Johnson in the owner’s box. Johnson successfully led a $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. His $50 million investment gave him 2.3% stake in the defending world champs.
Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro QB Patrick Mahomes took his $503 million deal he signed in 2020 and invested by becoming a member of the new ownership group of the Kansas City Royals.
Former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter currently has the highest ownership percentage of any Black investor, with his 4% stake in the Miami Marlins. Both Johnson and Jeter have seen success. After missing the playoffs the last two seasons, perhaps the Sox are thinking LeBron’s winning touch can get them back on top.