LeBron James is the biggest NBA superstar today. With multiple major endorsements and a huge salary, he has accumulated a massive amount of wealth over the past 17 years in the NBA. He is well on his way to becoming a billionaire following in the footsteps of his idol Michael Jordan. But how much is LeBron James worth? We take a look into how LeBron James built his massive wealth value through his career.
How much is LeBron James worth? - A look into his NBA contracts
As of July 2020, LeBron James' net worth is estimated to be $480 million. LeBron James has earned his money over the years not only through his massive NBA salary but also some massive endorsement deals from almost every major company in the United States and several profitable investment ventures.
After joining the NBA right out of high school at the age of 18, LeBron James earned $18.8 million from the Cleveland Cavaliers over the first four years of his career with his rookie contract. He then got a $60 million extension from the Cavaliers for three years.
LeBron James took a relatively small cheque during his Miami Heat years with a $110 million contract over 6 years. Four years later, after winning two championships with the Heat, he returned to the Cavaliers at the end of the 2014 season.
During his second stint with the Cavaliers, he elected to have one-year max contracts till 2016 before taking a $100 million deal for three years. He transferred to the LA Lakers in 2018 taking a $154 million deal for four years.
What about LeBron's endorsements?
LeBron James has been the face of many multinational brands in a wide variety of industries. His business acumen shows in his choices of brands to represent. Here are a few of his most famous endorsements.
LeBron signed his first Nike shoe deal as a rookie which was worth $87 million over a seven-year period. As of 2015, LeBron signed a lifetime deal with Nike that will continue beyond his playing career and could eventually amount to $1 billion.
LeBron James signed a deal with the popular fast-food chain and stayed with them for 5 years before moving on to his own food venture called Blaze Pizza that was more suitable to his healthy lifestyle.
Beats by Dre
LeBron James took part ownership of Beats by Dre in 2008 and reportedly earned $30 million through that deal. Kendrick Perkins claim that the deal has actually added $700 million to LeBron's wealth but these claims are unsubstantiated.
Some of his many other endorsements include tech giants Microsoft and Samsung, Kia, Coca Cola, and Dunkin'. LeBron James has had deals with some of the biggest companies in the world and is also a key investor in multiple organisations.
LeBron James' lucrative investments have added to his wealth
LeBron James has built his wealth not only through contracts and endorsements, but also through smart investments that have brought back gains manifold. Here are some of his most significant investments.
LeBron and his business partner Maverick Carter acquired a 2% stake in the Premier League team in 2011. Liverpool has since quadrupled its worth over the last 9 years.
LeBron also invested in a startup called Blaze Pizza in 2012. Blaze Pizza is now reportedly worth a whoppin $40 million as of 2017. It is also reportedly the fastest growing restaurant chain of all time.
Apart from investing in companies, LeBron James has also given back to community with large charitable donations towards the development of minority communities and supporting students from poor financial backgrounds.
One of his most significant charitable projects is the 'I Promise' school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio which is aimed at providing education to at-risk children. The school opened in 2018 and is expected to be fully operational by 2022.
What next for LeBron?
With his career heading to an end in the next few years, LeBron James will surely take his business ventures to a higher level. He could very well become the only NBA player since Michael Jordan to become a billionaire at the rate at which he is going.