LeBron James is a part-owner of Liverpool FC. He’s nowhere near a majority owner or anything. In fact, LeBron is a two percent owner of the team so he’s not exactly in on the day-to-day dealings of the team.
Either way, LeBron’s initial investment has increased over the years thanks to Liverpool’s resurgence. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, LeBron’s initial $6.5 million investment for two percent of the team from 2011 is now worth about $32 million.
Fenway Sports Group bought the team from Tom Hicks and George Gillett in 2011 for $477 million in 2010. The team, one of the historically best and most popular teams in the world, was struggling financially and was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. They were finishing midtable and their hunt for trophies seemed far away.
After winning an EFL Cup in 2012 and a miraculous second place finish in the 2013-14 Premier League, Liverpool had been slowly improving. Adding Jurgen Klopp, along with the dynamic front line of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, Liverpool has become a solid top-four team and has gone through the Champions League, scoring a record number of goals. Now that Liverpool is in the Final against Real Madrid, that $477 million investment by FSG is now likely worth somewhere around $1.6 billion.
How LeBron enters this is that his marketing company, LRMR, is in a joint venture with FSG. And one of the things the two firms have teamed up for was Liverpool.
Maverick Carter, LeBron’s business partner, discussed LeBron’s investment on Liverpool and working with FSG.
“It has been an honor for us to be in on this deal with Fenway Sports Partners’ John Henry and Tom Werner,” Carter said. “It has been a thrill to watch such a storied club make their way back to the top again and to be a part of it all. LeBron likes the fact that he’s diversified in another global sport.”
LeBron seems to have a “green thumb” in picking out companies to invest. In the ESPN piece, it revealed that LeBron was an investor in Beats by Dre and after it was sold to Apple, made over $30 million. A million dollar investment in the chain Blaze Pizza has likely netted LeBron about $45 million as a result. The Liverpool investment seems like another example of LeBron buying low and reaping in the benefits.
[ESPN/Photo: Getty Images]