LeBron James signed a two-year contract to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers this week that’s worth a whopping $42.1 million. That’s over $21 million per year, which is the maximum amount allowed by the NBA’s labor agreement. In his first 11 years as a pro, LeBron made an estimated $128 million just in NBA salary.
At the age of 17 he signed his first major endorsement deal with Nike, worth a reported $90 million over a period of seven years. His other endorsement deals include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Samsung and Dunkin Brands. Since he turned pro in 2003 he has made a reported $300 million on endorsements alone.
He’s not only into endorsements though, he’s a smart business man. At 22-years old LeBron set up LRMR Marketing, headed by his best friend Maverick Carter, which handles his low profile investments. These include start-ups, real estate, companies and now athletes after the recent signing of the Cleveland Brown’s Johnny Manziel.
He holds a 10% stake in bike-maker Cannondale and had stakes in Beats by Dre, which was recently sold to Apple for $3 billion. LeBron made a reported $30 million on that deal alone. LeBron is also a minority owner in the Liverpool Football Club, Boston Red Sox and a NASCAR team all through the Fenway Sports Group.
He has publicly stated his desire to be a billionaire, which may very well be possible. The only other athlete that could possibly reach the billionaire mark is golf pro Tiger Woods, but it’s unlikely considering his latest on-course problems and sex scandals.
LeBron, a family man, recently married his high school sweetheart and they have two sons and she’s pregnant with their first daughter. According to her Instagram, she is excited to move back to their home state of Ohio.
While many have mixed views on LeBron James persona, there’s no denying that he’s a smart and talented athlete.