LeBron James reportedly made a cool $30 Million from Apple’s purchase of Beats Electronics. James was given a stake in the company—about one percent, if the ESPN report is accurate.
James’ off-court business is booming, thanks to a string of investments paying off massively and the prospect of new opportunities in endorsements and entertainment projects promising to expand his wealth significantly in coming years.
In a recent example, while James was leading the Heat to a victory over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals, sources say the 29-year-old was finalizing what is believed to be the biggest equity cash payout for a professional athlete in history as part of Apple’s recent $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics. Sources briefed on the situation say James realized a profit of more than $30 million in cash and stock in the Beats sale after he had struck a deal to get a small stake in the company at its inception in 2008 in exchange for promoting its high-end headphones.
In Beats’ formative months, nothing was better for business than the U.S. Olympic basketball team being seen wearing them. (James had been given a prototype pair by Jimmy Iovine, and served as the middleman to hook up the rest of Team USA. The rest of the sports world soon followed: “I started hearing from people who wanted to know: What are they?” James said. “Where did I get them?”)