NBA star LeBron James is putting the focus on expanding his sports ownership portfolio. According to ESPN, the Ohio native has become a Fenway Sports Group partner which gives him an ownership stake in the Boston Red Sox.
The partnership is historic as James and his business partner Maverick Carter are the first Black partners in the Fenway Sports Group’s 20-year existence. By becoming owners, James and Carter will have equity in FSG subsidiaries that include Fenway Sports Management, the New England Sports Network and Roush Fenway Racing. The NBA has barred active players from owning parts of the basketball league, so James decided to branch out and explore ownership opportunities within other professional sports entities.
James says this business move is about changing the narrative surrounding the lack of diversity in sports ownership. “I think for me and for my partner, Maverick, to be the first two Black men to be a part of that ownership group in the history of that franchise, I think it’s pretty damn cool,” he said in a statement. “It gives me and people that look like me hope and inspiration that they can be in a position like that as well, that it can be done. It gives my kids at my I Promise School more and more inspiration as well.” RedBird Capital Partners has invested $750 million in the Fenway Sports Group.
This isn’t the only professional sports franchise that James has invested in. He owns 2 percent of the English Premier League’s Liverpool team.
Several professional athletes are becoming sports team owners. WNBA star Candace Parker and her 11-year-old daughter Lailaa Nicole Williams are part-owners of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Angel City team. Tennis powerhouse Serena Williams and her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. are also part-owners of the same team. U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka recently became part-owner of the National Women’s Soccer League’s North Carolina Courage team.