Branding the World of Sports

Endorsement Profile: Lebron James

Posted by ZA on October 27, 2008

Athlete: Lebron James
Sport: Basketball
League: NBA
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Agent: Maverick Carter (LRMR Marketing – Lebron’s marketing company)
Age: 23 (December 30, 1984)
Rank in SI’s 50 richest athletes: 3rd
Endorsement value: $28,000,000

Lebron James photo from

Lebron James photo from

Lebron James endorsement deals (thru Oct. 2008):
* Bubblicious
* Cannondale Bicycle Company
* Coca-Cola (Coke, Sprite & Vitaminwater)
* Cub Cadet
* Nike
* State Farm Insurance
* Upper Deck

LeBron James signed his first endorsement deal with Upper Deck in the Spring semester of his Senior year in high school.  Durant was finished with high school and waiting for the NBA draft when he signed the five-year deal valued at one million per season.  Hours later James would sign the richest shoe endorsement deal that any NBA rookie had ever signed.  Nike signed LeBron to a $90 million endorsement contract narrowly beating out Adidas, which was the sponsor of James high school team.  LeBron signed endorsement deals with a range of other top companies, including the Coca-Cola Corporation.  James has endorsed a slew of Coke products, starting with Powerade and eventually moving to Vitaminwater and now Coca-Cola.  During the 2008 Beijing Olympics Coca-Cola ran a global advertising campaign that featured LeBron and China’s Yao Ming.

LeBron James’ endorsement potential:
LeBron James is arguably the best basketball player on the planet.  He is beloved in the United States and across the globe.  LeBron has already led his team to the NBA Finals and been named All-NBA 1st Team twice.  He is virtual lock for the NBA Hall of Fame and a place in the conversation about the best forwards of all-time. 

LeBron is a truly transcendent athlete, and his endorsement potential reflects that.  Not only is King James a sports star, he is entertainment superstar.  LeBron has graced the cover of magazines from Sports Illustrated to Vogue.  He has done things in the entertainment world that few athletes ever have, like host Saturday Night Live and the ESPY Awards (with Jimmy Kimmel).  LeBron James star shines brightly and should continue to for many years to come.

LeBron James 5-star endorsement rating: 5

LeBron James commercial for Powerade:

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7 Responses to “Endorsement Profile: Lebron James”

  1. Nate Jones said

    Hey Zach, love the site. Take a look at this post I did on NBA marketing figures when you have a chance.

  2. ZA said

    A few of those players should kiss the ground that their agents walk on for getting them endorsement deals (ahem: Marbury, Vinsanity & Jamison).


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