Everyone in the sports business world was shocked when LeBron James fired his agent, Aaron Goodwin, back in 2005. Goodwin was the cat that got Bron that $90 million deal with Nike. But what was even more shocking, is that LeBron hired his "boys" to manage his career and the King James Brand. Three years later, it looks like James and his crew knew what they're doing. In a profile for Esquire Magazine, James explains the reason for the launch of his LRMR Sports Marketing Company, with his childhood friends.
"I thought, if I stopped playing basketball right now, what would my friends have to look back on? They wouldn't have anything to look back on," LeBron told the magazine. "For me to grow as a businessman, and for me to become a man, I decided I've got to start working with guys I can trust -- my friends. Now I don't need to be there for them to get into places, high-prestige places, or to have a business meeting with somebody. LeBron doesn't have to be there."
LRMR: The L stands for LeBron, R for Richard Paul, M for Maverick Carter, and R for Randy Mims, all of them tight homeboys since they were kids. Maverick is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the James brand while LeBron can concentrate on being a better basketball player. But that's not the only thing the crew is designed to do.
"What are we doing differently?" Maverick told the magazine. "One thing we do differently, we like to control -- well, control is a bad word -- we like to be involved in every aspect of the brand we're partnered with: who they're advertising with, what the advertiser looks like -- if it's a commercial, then who's the director? We really strive on the management side once a deal is done, so it becomes a partnership, not just a deal where they pay LeBron, he shows up."
From Coca-Cola, to State Farm, to MSN and a plethora of other "partnerships," looks like there's no slowing down for this team.