LeBron James has entered into a new partnership with Fenway Sports Group (FSG), making him part-owner of both Liverpool FC and Boston Red Sox.
The LA Lakers star — who already had a two per cent stake in Liverpool since 2011 — is the first black partner at FSG, along with his business partner Maverick Carter.
As a minority shareholder, James initially invested roughly £4.7 into the Merseyside football team ten years ago (shortly after FSG bought the English Premier League team) but will now reportedly take on a more ambitious and active role.
FSG — previously known as the New England Sports Ventures — acquired Liverpool in 2010 for £300 million.
“I am thrilled to be working with [FSG founders] John Henry and Tom Werner,” James said at the time.
“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 organisation that loves sports as much as I do,” he added.
In an interview with the Guardian, he compared the impact of the Reds to teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees. He also compared them to EPL opponents Manchester United.
“Any time you have so much history and so much power behind their story, there is great potential to continue that expansion,” he said.
“Liverpool are definitely one of those clubs. They really are like Man U and the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees.
“There are some teams and logos you see, no matter where you are in the world, and you know exactly who they are and what they mean. I see Liverpool in that group.”
In recent years, James investment began to pay off. In 2018, Liverpool advanced to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 11 years and their value shot up.
ESPN estimated that over those seven years (2011-2018), LeBron’s investment would have grown to approximately £23 million.
“It has been a thrill to watch such a storied club make their way back to the top again and to be a part of it all,” said James’ business partner Carter.
FSG are now going full steam ahead with an expansion plan. Earlier this week, they approved a private investment deal worth three quarters of a million dollars with RedBird Capital Partners.
The capital will be used to boost both the Liverpool and Red Sox franchises, but could also be used to acquire more sports teams.
Although James has expressed his desire to invest in a basketball team, active players in the NBA are forbidden from doing so.
James has pre-existing ties with Liverpool’s management.