LeBron James is about to sign his most lucrative pro basketball contract, one that will pay him more than $22 million a year to play in either Cleveland or Miami.
But whichever city he picks, the contract will be only a small part of his eventual goal: becoming a billionaire.
Not that James will be playing for pocket change. He’s expected to sign for the maximum allowable contract under the National Basketball Association ‘s labor agreement. And he’s already been paid about $128 million in his first 11 years as a pro.
Published reports put his endorsements deals at between $38 million to $53 million in the past year, more than any other athlete. His current deal with Nike (NKE) alone is worth an estimated $20 million a year in endorsement income and royalties on his brand of sneakers.
But even his total endorsements come to “only” a bit over $300 million since he turned pro, according to published reports. So he’ll need investments to get him to the land of 10-figure net worth. And he might well do just that.
Back in 2007, before he was a free agent for the first time, the then 22-year old James was already aiming for his lofty goal. He befriended Warren Buffett for his investment advice and set up a firm, LRMR Marketing, to start to handle his low profile investments in business start-ups, real estate and other companies.