April 7, 2011

Lebron James

Fenway Sports Management signed James and the company he helped create, LRMR, to a long-term deal to secure marketing and sponsorship opportunities.

As part of the deal, the NBA's two-time reigning MVP received an undisclosed percentage of Premier League club Liverpool.

James has pursued marketing opportunities across the globe before, especially in Asia and Europe — obviously, two key markets for Liverpool.

"There are very few athletes who can match his global reach, appeal and iconic status," FSM co-owner Tom Werner said. "We are very excited that LeBron will be part of the Liverpool FC family. LeBron and Liverpool each has a powerful presence internationally."

FSM is owned by Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of the Red Sox and Liverpool and a co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing in NASCAR.

FSM handles the marketing for the Red Sox, Liverpool and Roush Fenway Racing, and now it will handle James, too.

"I can't even explain the level of excitement that we have right now," James' manager and LRMR CEO, Maverick Carter, told The Associated Press. "As far as my business career goes, it's one of the most exciting times. And the opportunity for growth for us is huge. The guys at FSM understand it too and they probably see it even more than we do."

The deal came together quickly, but Carter and James have been familiar with FSM co-owners John Henry and Werner for some time.

FSM president Sam Kennedy said the group is not looking to get into representing individual athletes, but the chance to work with a blue-chip brand such as James was too good to pass up.

"What FSM does for Roush Fenway, Liverpool and the Red Sox, we will now do for LeBron James," Kennedy said. "We will aggressively pursue business opportunities for him."

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