LeBron James isn’t just a businessman; He’s a business, man.
That quote, first said by Jay Z in 2005, gets thrown around a lot these days, but in the case of LeBron, arguably the best basketball player on the planet, it’s true.
Much like the man he constantly gets compared to, Michael Jordan, LeBron is a brand. After his hoops career ends, don’t be surprised if the widely popular and high-grossing sales of his Nike LeBron shoe sprouts off into its own entity, much like Jordan’s sneakers became its own brand under the Nike umbrella.
This is a man, after all, that reportedly signed a lifetime contract with the sneaker company worth $1 billion.
LeBron is much more than just sneakers, although Nike has not shied away from plastering anything they can with LBJ’s likeness.
Before Connor McGregor got TKO’d by Floyd Mayweather in August, James was the second highest-paid athlete of the year behind Cristiano Ronaldo at $86.2 million.
$55 million of that came by way of endorsements.