LeBron James has just agreed to an unprecedented marketing deal with the owners of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, that will make him a minority owner of the English soccer club.The Wall Street Journal reports that James and his personal marketing firm have signed a partnership with Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Red Sox, Liverpool, and the Fenway Rousch NASCAR team. The deal will give Fenway exclusive worldwide rights to market James and his image.
FSG sells $60 million a year worth of sponsorships for its properties, but this is the first time they’ve worked an individual athlete. The company says they no interest in becoming representatives with other athletes.
The idea of an active pro athlete taking ownership in a team, in nearly unprecedented, as league rules usually prohibit such deals. It doesn’t appear that James, who is an avowed New York Yankee fan, will have a stake in the Red Sox.