By Robert Miller | Portfolio Manager at NAOS Asset Management
LeBron, Inc. – The Making of a Billion-Dollar Athlete by Brian Windhorst
Not only is LeBron James one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but he is also one of the most high-profile figures on Earth. There are plenty of books regarding what LeBron has done on the court however this book specifically focuses on the off-court business career of King James. Whilst his athletic ability is only something we can dream of, there are some of his key business principals we at NAOS can resonate with when it comes to what we aim to achieve with our own investment philosophy.
As a high-profile athlete, the opportunity to leverage your personal brand can create substantial wealth. Athletes signing marketing/sponsorship deals with the likes of (e.g.) Nike, Adidas, Oakley or Red Bull is a tried and tested model however some athletes look to do it differently. Whilst LeBron does indeed have a now ‘lifetime’ deal with Nike, did you know he has helped to build a very substantial media production house, marketing agency, school, pizza restaurant chain, bike company, has Warren Buffet as a mentor/friend and is also a part owner of English Premier League team Liverpool F.C.
The business principals of LeBron James which resonate with us include:
- He focuses very much on having long term partnerships & investments.
- He takes a skin in the game approach preferring equity holding in companies vs. higher cash payments.
- Concentrates on opportunities where he can provide value add by being a partner not just a marketing tool.
- Compounds his time, effort, and financial input by combining with like minded people to generate outsized returns over time.
- Learns from his mistakes.
- Remains disciplined to his business principals.
His business career has not all been a success. There have been some major mistakes along the way. This book by American sportswriter Brian Windhorst does a great job analysing many of the individual deals that have been made over the past 20 years.
Link to Book
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