Basketball: LeBron James to join Red Sox ownership group

According to Forbes, LeBron James is expected to make US$95.4 million in salary and endorsements in 2021.
According to Forbes, LeBron James is expected to make US$95.4 million in salary and endorsements in 2021.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James made an investment to join the ownership group of the Boston Red Sox, multiple outlets reported on Tuesday (March 16).

The basketball player purchased an undisclosed amount of Fenway Sports Group shares, with the transaction reported on the same day the Boston Globe reported RedBird Capital Partners made a US$750 million (S$1 billion) investment to join FSG.

Fenway Sports Group also is the parent company of Liverpool Football Club, the reigning champions of the English Premier League. James has owned 2 per cent of the club since 2011.

In addition to the Red Sox and Liverpool, Fenway Sports Group also owns Boston regional sports cable network NESN, as well as Nascar's Roush Fenway Racing and Fenway Sports Management.

James' longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter also became an investment partner in FSG on Tuesday.

RedBird Capital Partners reportedly will own an 11 per cent stake in FSG, which has a value of approximately US$7.35 billion, according to the Globe.

Principal owner John Henry will remain in control of FSG, while chairman Tom Werner remains the second-largest shareholder. RedBird Capital Partners now owns the third largest share with president Michael Gordon fourth.

According to Forbes, James is expected to make US$95.4 million in salary and endorsements in 2021, with US$31.4 million of that from his Lakers contract. He was supposed to make US$39.2 million this season, but players' salaries are being reduced as the National Basketball Association works through the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also is projected to surpass US$1 billion in career earnings from salary and endorsements this year.

The only other athletes reported to have US$1 billion in career earnings are Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.