LeBron James will have a chance to win titles with more than the Miami Heat. After agreeing to terms with Fenway Sports Management (FSM) to become a minority owner of Liverpool FC, the two-time NBA MVP also will have a shot to win championships at Anfield.
“Eighteen championships,” James said of Liverpool’s success. “I see myself trying to do the same things they have.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, James’ stake in LFC is the first time a professional athlete at the top of his game has taken an ownership interest in a team of such global reach.
The deal comes as part of a partnership between Fenway Sports Management and LeBron’s sports-marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing. As a result of the agreement, FSM will become James’ exclusive worldwide representative.
James says he is humbled by the deal and excited to wear a red Liverpool shirt at Anfield.
University of Southern California professor of sports business David Carter said that by investing in a property like Liverpool, LeBron mitigates the risk of signing on with a company that has not previously represented athletes.
Despite that lack of experience, James’ business associate and LRMR Branding & Marketing chief executive Maverick Carter believes FSG is a great fit to represent LeBron.
“These guys have unmatched skills when it come to marketing and selling on a global basis,” Carter said of Fenway Sports Management.
Fenway Sports Group co-owner Tom Werner said that the deal with James would never have been reached had the ownership group not acquired Liverpool last year.
“Without purchasing Liverpool, we never would have been able to have this conversation,” Werner said.
Liverpool’s revenues for the 2009-10 season were a reported $320 million, making it the world’s eighth-largest soccer team.