LeBron James now part-owner of Liverpool FCPosted by Inside Hoops
Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal reports:
Basketball star LeBron James is joining forces with renowned hedge-fund manager John Henry and veteran Hollywood producer Tom Werner in a deal that brings together one of the biggest stars in sports and two of the world’s most renowned teams.
The deal between Mr. James and Fenway Sports Group will give Mr. James a minority stake in the soccer club Liverpool, which FSG owns. FSG, which also owns the Boston Red Sox, is partnering with Mr. James’s sports-marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing to become the exclusive world-wide representative for Mr. James.
The deal marks the first time that a professional athlete at the top of his game has taken an ownership interest in a team with the size and reach of Liverpool, which is one of the most popular and powerful sports franchises in the world.
It also adds yet another dimension for Boston-based FSG, which became a global operation last October when it bought Liverpool for $488 million. The company was founded as New England Sports Ventures nine years ago after Messrs. Henry and Werner bought the Red Sox and 80% of regional sports channel New England Sports Network. In 2007 Fenway became 50% owner of the Nascar auto-racing team Roush Fenway Racing.
James is also going into business with the Boston Red Sox, as FSG is also the parent company of the Red Sox and a co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing.
“What FSM does for Roush Fenway, Liverpool and the Red Sox, we will now do for LeBron James,” Fenway Sports Marketing (a sister company of FSG) president Sam Kennedy said. “We will aggressively pursue business opportunities for him.
“We are fortunate to have blue-chip brands like the Red Sox, Liverpool and Roush Fenway. This represents the next step in our evolution, to represent one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet.”