LeBron James is known as one of the most popular figures in the basketball world. With merchandise such as jerseys and signature shoes among the many sources bumping sales revenue for any team he's on every year, LeBron has one of the most productive brand values of all time.
Whether it's on or off the court, LeBron plays an active role in contributing. Taking part in multiple ventures, LeBron James is always looking to diversify his portfolio and give back to the community.
As LeBron enters his 19th season in the NBA with the LA Lakers, he looks to expand his brand even after his career on the court has ended. With that in mind, we take a look at five impactful ventures by LeBron James beyond the NBA court.
#1 I Promise School
One of LeBron James' most significant ventures outside of the NBA is the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, LeBron's hometown.
The school opened in 2018 with the support of the LeBron James Family Foundation. Aimed at supporting at-risk children in the community, the school aims to give education and open up avenues for children by providing them with all the necessary support to ensure a brighter future.
The Foundation aims to support students by providing free tuition, food, transport, bikes and helmets, scholarships, and career placement opportunities. They also aim to support the families of students by giving them access to GED's and job placement opportunities.
The I Promise Network Scholarship also gives free tuition to students who graduate from the Akron Public School system with a minimum of a 3,0 GPA to go to the University of Ohio.
As of now, the school only attends to grades three and four, but by 2022 it is expected to be fully operational and cater to first through eighth grade.
#2 Space Jam: A New Legacy
Following up with a fan-favorite sports movie starring Michael Jordan, Space Jam, LeBron James starred in his own sequel to the classic.
Space Jam: A New Legacy was the highly anticipated follow-up to the original, which was released in 1996. The original featured the abduction of Michael Jordan by the characters in the Warner Bros. cartoon series, The Looney Tunes. In hopes of having the greatest player in the world save them from enslavement by aliens by playing against them in a basketball game, Jordan aimed to save the Looney Tune world.
Much like the original, LeBron James enters Tune Town, but this time the movie takes a more cyber approach due to the nature of tech and artificial intelligence driving the story.
Although the movie itself didn't receive rave reviews, the follow-up to Space Jam was something almost every basketball fan was looking forward to. The film was released in Los Angeles on July 12th, 2021.
#3 Fenway Sports Group
LeBron James has already been linked with the EPL team, Liverpool FC. Having invested approximately $6.5 million in the side in 2011. With the side having successful seasons and enjoying victories, the value of the 2% stake that LeBron owned is currently around $44 million.
Fenway Sports Group is a company that owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC. While LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter have been owners of the club since 2011, a deal in 2021 saw the stake transition into a stake in FSG.
As James and Carter increased their investment in Liverpool, RedBird Capital also joined the list of investors. With a hefty overall influx of investments, FSG was valued at $7.35 billion as of March 2021.
#4 SpringHill Company
SpringHill Company is co-owned by LeBron James and Maverick Carter. Seen as a video production venture by the basketball star, SpringHill was also responsible for releasing the trailer for Lebron's Space Jam: A New Legacy.
With an extensive background in movie production, in-house merchandising and events, Springhill Company proves to be a holistic artistic venture by the pair of James and Carter.
As of July 2021, the company was in talks to sell its equity stake. Gathering interest from Nike and RedBird Capital. With the interest of Nike, the company was valued at $750 million.
SpringHill Company has been able to tie up with multiple online platforms for content and has proven to be a successful venture for LeBron James so far.
#5 Blaze Pizza
LeBron James invested in Blaze Pizza back in 2012. With a $1 million dollar investment, the pizza brand took off as James turned it into a franchise.
Blaze Pizza differentiates itself from most other pizza outlets purely on the basis of customer choice. Allowing the customer to modify their pizza, each one is custom made and tailored to the consumer's tastes.
With 19 outlets opening up in Chicago and Miami, LeBron James' investment in Blaze is currently valued at $35 million. The difference that LeBron's investment made now sees Blaze Pizza as one of the fastest growing food chains of all time.
One aspect of Blaze Pizza that made it go viral was a clip of LeBron James going undercover as a staff member for the franchise. The video took off on the internet and garnered a lot of attention for the food chain as LeBron continued to make good on his investment.