LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s next television venture is a sitcom about a sneaker store in Los Angeles. SpringHill Entertainment, the production company founded by the Cavaliers superstar and his longtime business partner, is developing the still untitled show for HBO.
LeBron James and his business partners have turned another small investment into a fortune. Sources tell ESPN that an investment James, his business partner Maverick Carter and financial advisor Paul Wachter of Main Street Advisors made for less than $1 million in 2012 in upstart fast casual pizza chain Blaze has turned into $25 million.
"LeBron and I have always been about finding companies that we truly believe in and putting real money into them," Carter said. "We're not talking putting in $15,000 or $20,000. It's real money plus the expertise, understanding and knowledge that we bring as well as bringing LeBron's name and likeness to the product."
LeBron James passed up $15 million over four years from McDonald's because he was cooking up something bigger. Well, fast-fire baking. Blaze Pizza has already paid off its most famous investor's sacrifice. The fast-casual pizzeria opened its 200th location (in Mentor, Ohio, near Cleveland) is off to the fastest start of any restaurant chain in the American history, Forbes reports, citing Technomic. Read that back: the fastest start of any restaurant chain - not just pizza.
Forbes reports that Blaze hopes to make $285 million this year and $1.1 billion by 2022. James, who bought in as part of a group when there were only two locations, owns 10% of the company.
LeBron James has partnered with another powerful technology company. James signed an endorsement deal with Intel that will enable the tech giant to use him in a commercial that will air during Saturday's Final Four games.
The ad highlights Intel's 360 replay technology, which it has used at recent sporting events, including Super Bowl LI and CBS' Final Four games on Saturday and Monday. The system was built by Intel and uses 28 cameras that broadcast in 5K to pull off the new-age version of a highlight. "From a brand standpoint, we want fans to associate Intel technology with amazing experiences," said Intel chief marketing officer Steve Fund. "So we're picking the best of the best to tell that story."
LeBron James, perhaps Nike's premier pitchman, said Wednesday he was aware of the shoe company's tumbling stock after weaker-than-expected sales in its latest earnings report. And he didn't sound too worried. "Uh, listen, at the end of the day if Nike hits the fan then we're all in trouble," James said. "Everybody."
LeBron James: 🍕🍕🍕 - RT: Kurt Badenhaus: Blaze Pizza reports 83% sales growth in '16 to $185M. Project $1.1B in 2022. LeBron James group owns 17 Blaze franchises.
Not long after donating $2.5 million to support the Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, LeBron James and Maverick Carter announced on Monday they will produce a multi-part documentary about Ali’s life and career for HBO. “It’s tough to put into words how much it means to me to be a part of this project honoring the legacy and telling the extremely important story of the great Muhammad Ali,” James said in a news release.
SpringHill Entertainment, LeBron James' TV production company, has sold a comedy based on a sports agency to CBS, a source with knowledge of the deal confirmed. The comedy called Thankless, which follows a group of assistants at a firm in Chicago, will be written by Craig Gerard and Matt Zinman, who wrote for former CBS show "How I Met Your Mother."
LeBron James posted an Instagram of him and Mark Wahlberg in a gym together with a couple interesting hashtags — “Camera Ready” and “By The Way Truly Appreciate The Gift.” When Wahlberg went on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon asked him about the photo. The actor responded by saying that the two of them actually thought up of a “great” movie idea. After talking about the photo for a bit (it was at his house), Wahlberg says, “He and I are talking about doing a movie together.”
LeBron James was named the 11th highest-earning celebrity for 2016 by Forbes on Monday with $77 million in income -- $6 million higher than a January Forbes valuation but a cool $93 million behind pop star Swift.
James earned $23 million from the Cavs this season -- which of course ended with a historic Finals triumph over the Golden State Warriors -- and apparently $54 million off the court, according to Forbes. But the estimate could be low, counting only James' endorsements and not his earnings in Hollywood. He owns SpringHill Entertainment, which signed a content agreement with Warner Bros. last summer, and is producing several TV shows for various networks.
There was even speculation that his seven-year, $90 million shoe deal, which he signed before his rookie season, incentivize him to play in a major market. All of that was true. His initial contract featured a clause that would pay James a $1 million annual bonus if he played in a big market, sources with knowledge of the contract told The Vertical. The bonus would've been triggered if James had landed in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston or in the Bay Area with Golden State.
"The largest growth in LeBron’s brand at Nike was that year, 'The Decision,'" Maverick Carter said in an interview with Recode's Kurt Wagner on the latest episode of Recode Decode. Put another way: Whatever, haters! "The Decision" and the move helped James sell lots and lots of merch. That was one of the best indicators to Carter that his approach to media coverage — control the message — was working.
He made a well-received crossover into film with a prominent role in Judd Apatow's "Trainwreck"; and whispers abound that he will succeed Michael Jordan in the Looney Tunes sports movie "Space Jam 2." "Maybe we’re going to do it. There’s a lot of rumors. Nothing is set yet," Carter said of "Space Jam."
Today, Carter said he sees traditional media as "complementary" to his and James's work, and a good source of broad distribution, but he wants more and more athletes to be telling their own stories. "The media has to cover a lot of stories and a lot of athletes," he said. "If Draymond Green wants to tell a deeper, more insightful story, we [Uninterrupted] are the place for that. But he’s still going to talk to the Golden State press every day."
Warner Bros. hired a writer to work on a script for Space Jam 2, likely starring LeBron James, but the project is still early in development. A source close to the mega Hollywood studio confirmed Monday that Warner hired Andrew Dodge, who wrote the script for the 2013 comedy Bad Words starring Jason Bateman, to build out a script for the highly anticipated sequel to the 1996 hit, Space Jam. The sequel would presumably star James, the Cavaliers' superstar, who's been linked to Space Jam 2 since his own media company signed a content development agreement with Warner Bros. last summer.
The report said James would star in the movie and that Lin hoped to direct and produce the film as well, but multiple sources close to James and the studio said that neither the director nor James' participation in the film had been finalized. Warner Bros. filed for new Space Jam trademarks, a potential signal for new merchandise for a follow-up to the original film about a basketball star – in that case, Michael Jordan – playing against a cast of intergalactic monsters and Looney Tunes cartoon stars that grossed more than $230 million worldwide.
Justin Lin, Andrew Dodge and Alfredo Botello are ready to shoot some intergalactic hoops with LeBron James. The Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek Beyond helmer is co-writing with Dodge and Botello the Warner Bros.' sequel Space Jam 2. Lin is also eyeing to direct and produce via his Perfect Storm Entertainment, and sources say he will be thoroughly involved in the creative development in the project.
Rumors of a follow-up to the live action/animated 1996 hit have been brewing for years, and picked up again when James and his company SpringHill Entertainment signed a deal with Warner Bros. in July. The Cleveland Cavaliers NBA player, who recently appeared in Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck, will star in Space Jam 2. He's repped by WME. Sources say it's early on the in the process but that Lin and Dodge are working on the script.
New Line Cinema and LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment have acquired rights to an Elite Daily video by senior humor writer Connor Toole that went viral last year. They will shape a feature comedy from the video, in which the 6’10” Toole put on a suit, attended the 2015 NBA Draft day in New York and spent the night successfully fooling people that he was a second-round selection of the Utah Jazz. It brought him free drinks, and plenty of attention from women and hoops fans.
LeBron James said Blaze Pizza, the fast-food pizza chain in which he was an original investor, might be coming to Cleveland. "There is some thoughts and there is some conversations and we'll see what happens," James said Wednesday, about Blaze coming to Cleveland.
Blaze, which offers assembly-line pizza making (think Chipotle for pizza), announced its sales figures last week and were first reported by Nation's Restaurant News. "I'm a part of a company that started from the ground up," James said. "I was a part of the (beginning) when we had just two restaurants. Now we're hoping by 2018 we'll have over 200. It's great to be part of a company that's built from the ground up."
Joe Vardon: Kobe Bryant said he talks to LeBron James on the phone, about ball and business, something we hadn't heard previously from LeBron
Joe Vardon: LeBron led the NBA in salary + endorsements again last year, according to Forbes. Story to come
LeBron James will co-produce and appear in a reality TV series called "Cleveland Hustles." James and his close friend and business partner Maverick Carter are producing the series, which will make its debut this summer on CNBC. James also will make some cameo appearances. On the show, James and Carter will give four aspiring local entrepreneurs the chance to realize their dreams while revitalizing a neighborhood in Cleveland.
Which is how James arrived at last Monday, when he and Nike announced his signing of a lifetime contract. The deal, worth hundreds of millions on top of the hundreds of millions that Nike has already paid him in their 13-plus years together, was negotiated over the course of months, but it has really been under construction for years. When James signed his last Nike deal, in 2010, it included provisions to protect him. So when Kevin Durant signed a 10-year deal with Nike last summer for a reported $300 million after a bidding war with Under Armour, James knew he was going to be in position for a historic deal.
If you come to James with an offer, it is now routine business for him to find a way to step back and increase the scale. And if he can't, he probably won't do it. Next year, James is expected to have the highest salary in the NBA for the first time in his 13-year career. He knew this in 2014, which is why he became the first megastar player to take a one-year contract (with a one-year player option) in the midst of his prime, and why he did the same this past summer, positioning himself to cash in on the upcoming salary-cap spike.
Dwyane Wade: Me: Let me borrow a dollar LJ: ok I just picked up some extra money Congrats to my brother @kingjames on the lifetime deal.. #Formingablueprint #biggerthanbasketball https://www.instagram.com/p/_AdxynFCDQ/
James said he signed this deal with Nike because "I don't want to go nowhere else. I'm Nike and swoosh for the rest of my life," he said.
LeBron James has signed a guaranteed, lifetime endorsement deal with Nike that is worth at least $60 million per year, and maybe much more, as the athletic shoe-and-apparel giant sought to permanently extend its partnership with James that has already covered his entire 13-year NBA career.
James said Monday there has been a "conversation" with Nike about starting his own brand under the Nike umbrella, and "if it makes sense for us to have a 'Team LeBron,' or whatever the name will be, we'll take a look at it and we'll go from there."
Michael Jordan, who now owns the Charlotte Hornets and is the basketball icon to whom James is most often compared, last played in the NBA in the spring of 2003. According to Forbes, Nike's Jordan Brand shoe sales rose 17 percent in the U.S. last year to $2.6 billion, and Jordan's apparel and international sales also bring in $1 billion.
LeBron James has signed a guaranteed, lifetime endorsement deal with Nike, the athletic shoe and apparel giant and partner of James for his entire 13-year NBA career to date.
James and Kia took a refreshingly honest approach to their latest ad campaign, featuring James reading real tweets from people questioning whether he actually drives a Kia. James doesn’t believe it’s a problem that people are skeptical and insists he drives his Kia sometimes — including to some home games. “I have a couple cars and I love driving mine,” James said. “It’s pretty cool when you can drive something sometimes that no one thinks you’re in. So I can be away from everybody, no one’s going to think that’s going to be me in that car, but it’s a great car.”
On July 11, 2014, a few hours after LeBron James revealed in a Sports Illustrated letter that he was "coming home" to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA star was on the Nike jet to Rio for the World Cup soccer final. He confided in longtime manager Maverick Carter that he wanted to create a platform where athletes could speak their minds "uninterrupted," he said, the same way he did in the SI piece. Six months later, Uninterrupted, self-financed by Carter and James, launched on Turner Sports' Bleacher Report site as a hub for a series of point-of-view video shorts from athletes. Now the duo is deepening its partnership with Turner and Warner Bros. The Time Warner companies, led by Warner Bros., have invested $15.8 million in Uninterrupted with the goal of creating athlete-centric content for many platforms, including mobile, web and social, as well as linear television and film. The venture marks the latest move into entertainment for the NBA star and the further blurring of the lines between sports and entertainment figures.
James, 30, has been featured heavily in Uninterrupted video shorts, which offer a peek behind the curtain at athletes' lives away from the game. Others participating include fighter Ronda Rousey, Golden State Warrior Draymond Green of the NBA, tennis champion Serena Williams and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (talking about the media's handling of the NFL's Deflategate scandal). "It's giving athletes an opportunity to have a platform where they can speak about any issue," James tells THR. "They don't have to wait to be in front of a camera." Much like Kobe Bryant utilized Derek Jeter's The Player's Tribune Nov. 29 to reveal his retirement, Uninterrupted is "giving athletes a way to connect with their fans" without a traditional media intermediary, although the similarities end there.
If athletes are prime drivers on social media, their day jobs naturally limit their extracurricular activities. But James is well on his way to forging a successful non-NBA career. It is an example that others are attempting to emulate. "One of the attractive things about the athletes participating in a platform like Uninterrupted is they get to associate themselves and benefit from Maverick and the team — one of whom is LeBron — and some of the expertise they have in talking to their fans," says Matt Hong, Turner Sports executive vp and general manager. "They also benefit from the scale of a platform like Uninterrupted, which is amplified in a pretty massive way via distribution through Bleacher Report and the Warner Bros. assets."
A source with direct knowledge of James' business dealings insists the sole reason James didn't continue his relationship with McDonald's was because of Blaze. He couldn't rightly endorse two fast-food chains.
LeBron James purchased a vacation mansion in a plum section of Los Angeles, a source with knowledge of the transaction confirmed to cleveland.com. Variety Magazine reports that James bought the 9,350-square-foot home, built in 2011, for nearly $21 million, in L.A.'s Brentwood community. James' recent partnership with Warner Bros. fueled ample speculation that he may star in a sequel to the hit movie Space Jam, or would otherwise be more involved in the motion picture industry after his successful debut as a supporting actor in last summer's Trainwreck.
The purchase of the home was related to James' affinity for southern California and his off-court business opportunities there, and not to basketball, a source told Cleveland.com. "He likes L.A., he plans on spending time there in the summer, and he has a growing number of business opportunities," said a source close to James. "No one should read this as any indication about basketball. It's a vacation house."
LeBron James has decided to leave guaranteed endorsement income on the table for a potentially much bigger piece of the pie down the road. James has decided not to renew his option with McDonald's; he will lend his name and marketing power to fast-casual pizza franchise Blaze. In 2012, James became an original investor in the parent company, which is one of the stronger players in the assembly-line pizza concept.
Neither the company nor Carter would disclose the exact stake James has in Blaze, but a source told ESPN.com that he owns more than 10 percent of the company, which is separate from his stake in Chicago and Miami franchise rights.
September 23, 2021 | 11:46 am EDT Update
Though it doesn’t look good right now, the Sixers continue to insist that their preferred outcome at this point is to bring Simmons back and try to work through this. Embiid has publicly stumped for Simmons and privately insisted they can turn this around if they simply get him back in the gym and around the team. Rivers does not believe this will be an issue in the locker room, using an example from his own playing days to show these situations can be rectified. “The San Antonio Spurs traded Sean Elliott,” Rivers said. “You remember that? Traded him to Detroit, he failed the physical, didn’t want to come back, came back and they won the championship the next year, so these things can happen.”
“That may be where he’s at today, that may not be where he’s at tomorrow. You just don’t know, and that’s why we got to keep communicating and see where we can take this,” Rivers said. “He has four years left on his contract, it’s in our hands…once we get him back in the fold, then we can get to work. If that doesn’t happen, I don’t have an expectation. Because I don’t know where we would go. That will happen if it happens, but right now Ben is still part of this team, and I’m gonna focus on that part of it.”
Yossi Gozlan: The Pelicans ended up operating over the cap after clearing a lot of money in their trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. While they couldn’t get an All-Star caliber player with their flexibility, they might have better fits on their team now that they have more shooting to surround Williamson. They could be primed for a significant in-season trade with many young players, draft picks and tradeable salaries in their arsenal. Satoransky and Josh Hart could be particularly expendable due to New Orleans’ glut of guards, with Hart being an intriguing name to keep an eye on due to his unique salary structure.
Yossi Gozlan: Robinson is currently eligible for an extension worth up to $55.6 million over four years. Since the Knicks exercised his team option for this season, he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. This could incentivize them to extend him before the end of the season. A two-year deal that aligns his contract with the rest of the core could make sense. The Knicks won’t be losing any cap space since they’re capped out until at least 2023. They also must decide whether or not to extend Kevin Knox before the start of the regular season.
Mitchell Robinson, Knicks (broken foot): New York’s starting center early last season is progressing fine, but he is not yet a full go as camp starts. The Knicks will be “conservative,” per a source, in bringing him back.
Ownership was made aware of Rosas’ transgressions with the staffer when team officials were provided with photographic evidence of their connection, sources said. It seems few if any in Minnesota and around the league had general knowledge of Rosas’ relationship until Wednesday, when the news quickly spread throughout the organization, and to rival team personnel, like wildfire. Rosas and the woman, each of whom is married, were seen kissing in a suite during a Minnesota United FC game last Saturday at Allianz Field, sources said. The soccer club was told to reserve luxury seating for several Timberwolves players and personnel, including assistant coach Pablo Prigioni. Two seats were filled by Rosas and the staffer.
Those pictures have been obtained by Bleacher Report. One photograph is a close-up shot, clearly showing Rosas and the woman sitting beside one another in light blue cushioned seats, behind the suite’s protective plexiglass. A second photograph follows, where the two have leaned towards one another for a romantic embrace. Minnesota’s statement announcing Rosas’ departure provided no further context behind its decision, and as word of his affair swirled around the league Wednesday, several executives noted how Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor did not thank Rosas for his time atop the team’s basketball department, as is customary in the business.
The revelation of Rosas’ relationship comes after a series of tense staffing dynamics within his front office, and a level of discontent from some Timberwolves staffers pertaining to Rosas’ leadership style, which has been described as isolationist. Any lead executive is privy to make final basketball decisions as they see fit, but several Minnesota figures told B/R they were dissatisfied by Rosas’ penchant for disregarding consultations from his front office.