We often hear stories about how athletes mismanage their money, going broke after being handed millions to perform in their respective field, but for every ‘go broke’ story, there are a few guys who handle their money well, creating extra profit for themselves in the process. One of those guys is Miami Heat superstar Lebron James.
Hidden within a piece that illustrated the Heat’s possible interest in Carmelo Anthony was an easter egg that revealed to the world Lebron James had stake in Beats Electronics.
James’ off-court business is booming, thanks to a string of investments paying off massively and the prospect of new opportunities in endorsements and entertainment projects promising to expand his wealth significantly in coming years.
In a recent example, while James was leading the Heat to a victory over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals, sources say the 29-year-old was finalizing what is believed to be the biggest equity cash payout for a professional athlete in history as part of Apple’s recent $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics. Sources briefed on the situation say James realized a profit of more than $30 million in cash and stock in the Beats sale after he had struck a deal to get a small stake in the company at its inception in 2008 in exchange for promoting its high-end headphones.
Why is this particular set of information important?
The obvious is that it displays how good a business man Lebron James is. By doing virtually nothing but advertising for the company, the sale between Beats Electronics and Apple has netted him ~$30 million. Most importantly, that $30 million may affect how James approaches free agency going forward.
There are a million and one reasons why Lebron James could accept a max contract from presumably any team in the NBthis summer or the next, depending on how he handles his contract options, but between the $30 million from the Beats sale, the bundle of cash James is making from endorsements, and the money made on previous contracts, there’s no reason for James to make salary his number one priority in free agency which benefits whichever team he’ll play on next year. Less money from James equals more money to surround him with capable talent. Does that talent have to be Carmelo Anthony? Not necessarily, though he’s reportedly an option. An extra $6 million or so in cap space is big when looking to add depth to a roster, especially with the salary cap tax line expected to jump to $77 million next season.
While he’s the quintessential 21st century basketball player, others could learn from James’ ability to sell himself outside of the game of basketball.