LeBron James to become part-owner of Boston Red Sox
The NBA All-Star purchased an ownership stake in the storied baseball franchise
LeBron James continues to make power moves on and off the court.
According to Bleacher Report it was announced today that the Los Angeles Lakers All-Star has invested in Fenway Sports Group, the ownership group that owns the Boston Red Sox and other affiliated ventures. James joins business partner Maverick Carter in the venture as FSG first two Black investors.
No specific financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
But this isn’t the only team that James, a Nike athlete who’s set to be paid $39.22M for the 2020-2021 NBA season, has invested in and his track record so far is good.
Per Bleacher Report, James, 36 previously invested in the U.K. football club Liverpool also owned by Fenway Sports Group. It’s believed that his original $6.5M stake has ballooned to $52M as the club has won both Champions League and Premier League titles in the years since, increasing its value to $2.6 B. According to ESPN, James owns a 2% stake in Liverpool.
However, as sports fans may know, it remains to be seen if money buys loyalty to the team. Despite his Akron, Ohio roots, James has publicly displayed his love for the New York Yankees, wearing their hat to a playoff game some years back.
Most recently and since changing coasts to become a Los Angeles Laker, James has publicly rooted for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who ironically traded for former Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts after losing to the team in the World Series in 2018.
James joins Will Smith, who owns a piece of his hometown team, the Philadelphia 76’ers, and other celebrities Justin Timberlake, who owns some of the Memphis Grizzlies, Usher, who owns a stake in the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Serena and Venus Williams, who own a portion of the Miami Dolphins.
The only African-American owner with a controlling stake in a sports franchise is billionaire Michael Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets. Per Reuters, Jordan owned 97% of the team when he purchased it in 2010 for $180M. He sold a portion of the team to New York investors Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sudheim but retained the controlling interest in the team.
Given the ongoing debate about their place on the NBA G.O.A.T. list, it’s not known whether James will be consulting Jordan for any business advice. But James does seem to be following the blueprint set by the six-time NBA champion, who changed the sports apparel and sneaker game forever with his iconic Jordan brand partnership with Nike.
Jordan also now owns a NASCAR team, 23iX Racing, with NASCAR star Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing, per Fox. Bubba Wallace was hired to drive for the team. Before their first race last month, Jordan told Fox he was a NASCAR fan growing up in Wilmington, North Carolina, and wanted to be the first Black owner in the sport.
“I have thought about it so many different times because I had never seen a Black car owner or someone of color who really owned their team or could dictate what happens with their team,” Jordan said. “We hadn’t really been dominant in this sport, but the opportunity had never been presented.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!