LeBron James is one of the wealthiest athletes in the world, and will continue to be for a long time.
Image via USA Today Sports
He almost became a millionaire overnight when he went from a high school basketball phenomenon to the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.According to Forbes`annual list of the highest-paid athletes last year had him ranking at No.3 in the world(behind two soccer superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi).Not just because LeBron is the best basketball player in the world; it’s because he showed business acumen beyond his years from an early age,and an ability to see down the road.
Harvard Business School published a case study in 2009 about LeBron’s early years decision to fire his agent and create his own agency,and with his friends from the childhood Randy Mims, Maverick Carter, and Rich Paul create the LRMR,agency in 2005.
In an episode from Carter’s series “Kneading Dough”with Uninterrupted,LeBron and Carter explain specific business meeting with Reebok as an 18-year-old high school student.It’s a fascinating story from James and Carter,where former Reebok chairman and CEO Paul Fireman offered LeBron a $10 million check to sign with Reebok,and not to have meeting with Adidas or Nike.Here`s LeBron’s vantage point story:Watch the full episode here>
Watch the full episode here>
“I can’t say I would have turned it down,” Carter said. “I think in the room I said, ‘Yo, let’s take this $10 million check and get the hell out of here.'”Something inside of James head told him to wait and see what other companies could offer.”If this guy,i started thinking…if he’s willing to give me a $10 million check right now, what’s to say that Nike or Adidas is not willing to give me 20 or 30 upfront?””Or to say that, maybe, the upfront money is not even the biggest thing. Maybe let’s start thinking about the back end.”LeBron James said.
For his succeed LeBron credited his uncles as well for teaching him-never put all of your eggs in one basket.But the decision was obviously a smart move.LeBron James first deal with Nike was reportedly $90 million,and last year he signet a lifetime deal with Nike wort $1billion.One hundred times the $10 million Reebok offered him upfront,whe he was 18-years old.
The best business decision,so far.