Storyline: LeBron James Business

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Not that anyone can be sure what Bron will do. He has always waited to the end to assess his options—then shocked everyone, leaving Cleveland for Miami in 2010 and Miami for Cleveland in 2014. On the other hand, James and his Cleveland-based people look like they’re up to something… or have millions to throw around on real estate whims, or both. Bron’s agent, Rich Paul just bought a $3 million home in Beverly Hills. Marketing point man Maverick Carter bought one in the Hollywood Hills for $3.5 million. Befitting his status as “The King,’ Bron bought one in Brentwood in December for $23 million.

The series, which will begin shooting soon in Akron, will explore the challenges, triumphs and impact of the LeBron James Family Foundation’s efforts to open the “I Promise School,” as well as the first-year trials of working within a local public school system aimed at children who are fighting uphill battles every day. The series will also highlight the educators, mentors, and community partners committed to establishing a new approach to education from an early stage.

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.
1 year ago via ESPN

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: 🍕🍕🍕 – 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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.
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April 21, 2018 | 10:03 pm EDT Update