LeBron James net worth: The unbelievable story of how the NBA player became a billionaire

How did LeBron James become the first active NBA player to become a billionaire?

Lebron James playing for Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James, the NBA superstar, has achieved numerous accolades throughout his illustrious career, including four NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, and two Olympic gold medals. But his most impressive feat might be his financial success, as he has become the first active NBA player to amass a net worth of over 1 billion USD. This incredible achievement is a testament to his hard work, smart investments, and savvy business acumen. In this article, we’ll explore the unbelievable story of how LeBron James became a billionaire and look into the various sources of income that contributed to his massive fortune.

What is LeBron James’ net worth in 2024?

According to the real-time billionaires list of Forbes magazine, LeBron James has an estimated net worth of 1.2 billion, as of June 2024.

In June 2022, James became the first active NBA player to become a billionaire – thanks to his combined earnings as an athlete, endorser, and entrepreneur. Read on to learn more about his various income streams.

How much has LeBron James made from his NBA career?

LeBron James’ NBA career is nothing short of legendary. Drafted straight out of high school in 2003, he has been a dominant force ever since. Here’s a quick rundown of his NBA journey so far:

Career Highlights

  • Four-time NBA champion (2012 and 2013 with Miami Heat, 2016 with Cleveland Cavaliers, and 2020 with Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)
  • 19-time NBA All-Star
  • NBA all-time leading scorer

Career Earnings

According to Business Insider, James has made 479.5 million USD during his 21-year NBA career, as of 2023. He signed a two-year, 97 million USD contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022, which includes a payout of 47.6 million USD for the 2023-2024 season and 51.4 million USD the following year.

Lebron James playing for Los Angeles Lakers
Lebron James playing for Los Angeles Lakers

How much does LeBron James make from Fenway Sports Group?

Fenway Sports Group (FSG) is a sports and entertainment company that owns and operates several sports teams, including the Boston Red Sox (MLB), Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), and Liverpool FC (English Premier League). FSG also manages various sports-related businesses and investments.

James has a significant stake in FSG through his lifetime marketing deal with the company, which includes equity. James’ equity in Fenway Sports Group is valued at 90 million USD,

How much does LeBron James make from Springhill Entertainment?

Founded in 2020, SpringHill Entertainment is a media and entertainment company founded by LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter. The company produces various forms of content, including TV shows, movies, documentaries, and live events. They’ve collaborated with big names like Kevin Hart and produced hit shows like The Shop on HBO.

James earns significant amounts from SpringHill Entertainment through his stake in the company. The exact amount is not publicly disclosed, but it is believed that his stake does not exceed 50% of the company, which is valued at roughly 300 million USD.

How much does LeBron James make from Blaze Pizza?

Blaze Pizza is a fast-growing, made-to-order pizza chain founded in 2011. Known for its custom-built pies, Blaze Pizza allows customers to choose their crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings to create personalized pizzas.

In 2012, James saw potential in Blaze Pizza and invested less than 1 million USD in the company. Fast forward to the present, James owns about 10% of the business. His stake in Blaze Pizza is reportedly valued at around 30 million USD, which includes both his initial investment and future endorsement payments.

How much does LeBron James make from his deal with Nike?

LeBron James’ deal with Nike is a massive moneymaker. In 2015, James signed a historic lifetime deal with Nike, the biggest in the company’s history. This means the deal keeps going as long as James is alive.

Reports suggest James earns well over 30 million USD a year from Nike. Some estimates even put it at multiple times that amount. The deal likely includes other benefits like royalties on shoe sales and signature product lines.

Greatest LeBron James commercial ever!

What are LeBron James’ other endorsement deals?

LeBron James’ endorsement portfolio extends far beyond FSG, Blaze Pizza, and Nike, making him one of the highest-paid athletes in terms of endorsements.

James has endorsement deals with a wide range of companies, including McDonald’s, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Beats by Dre (now part of Apple), Kia Motors, Sprite, Upper Deck, State Farm Insurance, Audemars Piguet (luxury watches), Dunkin’ Donuts, Verizon, Intel, Lobos 1707 (tequila), and Fanatics (sports apparel).

LeBron James for Louis Vuitton
LeBron James for Louis Vuitton

Overall, LeBron is estimated to rake in around 55 million USD annually from endorsements alone. This number combines income from all his deals, but how much each specific brand pays him is usually confidential. The exact amount James earns from each endorsement can vary depending on factors like the length of the deal, the scope of the campaign (print, TV, social media), and his performance. Some deals might be a one-time payment, while others might be ongoing with annual renewals.

Beyond the direct payouts, some deals might involve royalties on products featuring LeBron’s image or signature lines within a brand.

Who is richer: LeBron James or Michael Jordan?

Michael Jordan is richer than LeBron James. According to Forbes, Jordan’s net worth is 3.2 billion USD, while James’ net worth, as mentioned above, is 1.2 billion USD.

While Jordan’s playing career earnings were far less than James’ due to a different salary era, his legendary status and shrewd business decisions, particularly his iconic Nike deal, have propelled him to a higher net worth. But James’ wealth is still growing, and his endorsements and ventures haven’t quite reached the level of sustained success as Jordan’s.

Sources: Forbes, Business Insider
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