James becomes Liverpool stakeholder
Liverpool have confirmed that United States basketball star LeBron James has become a minority stakeholder in the club after signing a deal with club owners Fenway Sports Group.
FSG have, through their Fenway Sports Management division, struck a deal to partner the Miami Heat player's sports-marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing, to become his exclusive worldwide representative.
The extent of James' interest in the club has not been disclosed. The CEO of LRMR, Maverick Carter, has also become a minority stakeholder.
James, an Olympic gold medal winner with the United States, wants to use the deal to build his portfolio internationally and grow his commercial opportunities.
FSG and Liverpool chairman Tom Werner said in a statement: "We believe this will be a powerful collaboration between FSM and LRMR and LeBron. There are very few athletes who can match his global reach, appeal and iconic status.
"We are very excited that LeBron will be part of the Liverpool FC family.
"LeBron and Liverpool each has a powerful presence internationally, with particular strength in Asia, but we feel the business opportunities for both working and being identified together in emerging international markets will result in unforeseen opportunities that neither would have been able to realise alone."
James, 26, said: "I am thrilled to be working with John Henry and Tom Werner.
"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."