LeBron James is set to go global by buying a piece of one of the most storied soccer teams in the world. According to The Wall Street Journal, James is set to enter a deal with Fenway Sports Group that would give him a minority stake in the Liverpool F.C., one of the most successful English soccer clubs of all time. Fenway, which also owns the Boston Red Sox, would in turn become James' exclusive world-wide marketing representative.
The idea of celebrity minority owner isn't something unknown to the Miami area. Everyone from Black Eye Peas singer Fergie to the Williams sisters have a small ownership stake in the Miami Dolphins. Though WSJ points out that, "the deal marks the first time that a professional athlete at the top of his game has taken an ownership interest in a team with the size and reach of Liverpool."
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Though many think that James marketability has taken a hit since his decision to ditch the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat, Fenway thinks his potential power is profitable enough to enlist him as the first individual athlete to be represented by their marketing firm. The fact that Fenway has no experience in individual marketing carries some risk, but those are offset by the ownership stake he takes in Liverpool.
James says he looks forward to donning the red Liverpool jersey and is "humbled" by the deal.