This week saw an unlikely partnership emerge with NBA icon LeBron James acquiring a stake in Liverpool FC. On the surface of the deal it looks like LFC owners (Fenway Sports Group) have given LeBron a piece of Liverpool in return for representing the NBA star, which has angered many Liverpool fans.
Why should LeBron James be interested in Liverpool? How this going to be beneficial to the club and team? They should be offering shares of the clubs to supporters group. These are all questions that have been banded about by the Liverpool fans, a majority of reds are suspicious and believe this latest alliance is NOT the Liverpool way.
I’m not the biggest NBA follower, far from it, but I have heard of LeBron James. The guy is an absolute massive icon, not just in America but globally. The biggest name in the NBA, he earns a whopping $15m a year from Miami Heat, and over double that from sponsurs Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Nike – just to name a few. Last year Forbes listed the 26 year-old NBA star as the 2nd most influential athlete in the world, behind Lance Armstrong.
As a fan of Liverpool, initially I was a bit bemused when this deal was announced. A bit cynical, but on closer thought and inspection I think this deal could prove very lucrative for all involved. The NBA is huge in China, and LeBron James is worshipped there, if this increases Liverpool’s chance of cracking the Asia market then why not? If it means extra revenue for Liverpool then I would welcome this with open arms.
With Liverpool so far behind the likes Manchester United and Arsenal on match day revenue, and Man City and Chelsea having a bottomless pit of cash, we need all the extra revenue streams we can get it. And if having LeBron James as a shareholder in Liverpool increases the cash available to Kenny Dalglish to strengthen the squad, then im all for it.
I might even watch a Miami Heat game to catch a glimpse of the 2nd most influential athlete in world, and new Liverpool FC share holder.