LeBron James In Deal For Minority Ownership In Liverpool FC

LeBron James has signed a marketing deal with Fenway Sports Group, the owners of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC. 

James and business partner Maverick Carter will joining forces with renowned hedge-fund manager John Henry and veteran Hollywood producer Tom Werner in a deal that brings together one of the biggest stars in sports and two of the world's most renowned teams.

As part of the agreement, LRMR will acquire an interest in Liverpool FC, ranked as the sixth most valuable football team in the world by Forbes.

Fenway Sports Group will become the exclusive world-wide representative for LeBronJames.

"The idea of an active pro athlete taking ownership in a team, in nearly unprecedented, as league rules usually prohibit such deals," said <link http: www.businessinsider.com lebron-james-liverpool-red-sox-fenway-2011-4 _blank external-link-new-window>Business Insider.

Here's the press release:

Fenway Sports Management and LRMR Marketing & Branding Announce a Strategic Business Partnership

LRMR Principals LeBron James and Maverick Carter Team up with FSM Owners John Henry and Tom Werner to Expand Sports Marketing Enterprise

James and Carter to Acquire an Interest in Liverpool FC

Fenway Sports Management (FSM) today announced it will enter into a business partnership with LRMR Marketing & Branding. The agreement will align FSM’s innovative sales and business development efforts, LRMR’s marketing expertise and LeBron James and allow FSM in an exclusive partnership with LRMR to secure global marketing and sponsorship opportunities for Mr. James. FSM is part of the portfolio of companies of Fenway Sports Group (FSG), which share a commitment to excellence and winning, including the Boston Red Sox, the Liverpool Football Club of the English Premier League, New England Sports Network (NESN) and 50% of Roush Fenway Racing - all under the leadership of John Henry and Tom Werner.

FSM will work with two-time NBA MVP LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter/LRMR on James’ future business, marketing, endorsement and philanthropic endeavors all over the globe. The partnership between FSM and LRMR will be the exclusive avenue worldwide for the pursuit of opportunities to be associated with LeBron James.

“We believe this will be a powerful collaboration between FSM and LRMR and LeBron. There are very few athletes who can match his global reach, appeal and iconic status,” said Tom Werner. “We are very excited that LeBron will be part of the Liverpool FC family.  LeBron and Liverpool each has a powerful presence internationally, with particular strength in Asia, but we feel the business opportunities for both working and being identified together in emerging international markets will result in unforeseen opportunities that neither would have been able to realize alone.”  

FSM will aggressively explore global business opportunities to drive revenue growth for LRMR and LeBron James, as well as for all the other powerful clubs and brands in the Fenway Sports Group family. This continues a commitment by FSM and Fenway Sports Group to diversify itself internationally and be associated with iconic, worldwide brands. Just last year, Fenway Sports Group acquired Liverpool Football Club, one of the world’s most storied football clubs. By representing these iconic worldwide brands, FSM will be able to open doors to unique and innovative sponsorship and land revenue opportunities in the U.S., Europe, Asia and emerging markets across the world.

“I am thrilled to be working with John Henry and Tom Werner,” said LeBron James. “These guys, like me, have a passion for sports. You can see the drive and commitment they have for their teams. For me, this is about being in business with an organization that loves sports as much as I do.”

The FSM and LRMR partnership will focus on building an infrastructure and creating new marketing assets surrounding James’ existing business ventures, developing new sponsor relationships and identifying strategic alliances that connect the NBA star to blue-chip brands throughout the world. In addition, they will collaborate to develop branded products and new business enterprises bearing James’ name and likeness.

"Tom and John have created an innovative company that owns some of the greatest clubs and biggest brands in all of sports,” said Maverick Carter, CEO of LRMR. “Like LRMR, it is a fast-growing organization with incredible energy and passion for what they're doing. This partnership will allow us to dramatically expand our reach and opportunities, not only in the U.S. but in markets around the world."

“This is a great partnership that will surely lead to new opportunities for everyone involved,” said Beatriz Perez, CocaCola's Chief Marketing Officer for North America. “I know from personal experience how committed they all are to achieving their goals and accomplishing their objectives.”As part of the agreement, James and Carter will acquire an interest in Liverpool FC, ranked as the sixth most valuable football team in the world by Forbes.

“LeBron shares our love of all sports and we are very excited to make him part of the Liverpool family," said Ian Ayre, Managing Director of Liverpool FC. "We look forward to working with LeBron, LRMR and FSM, and exploring the business opportunities this new relationship could bring forth both here in the U.K. and abroad."

“Liverpool is one of the most important clubs in all of sports, and I am excited to be affiliated with this incredible organization,” said James.

“This partnership represents a new way of thinking about the sports marketing business and enables us to apply our team and brand marketing experience to elevate LRMR and LeBron to new heights,” said FSM President Sam Kennedy. 

“We’re thrilled to play a lead role in developing their global sports marketing strategy and we’re excited to engage the corporate community and explore how we can build their brands in the domestic and international marketplace by aligning them with one of the brightest stars in professional sports.”

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