According to the report, James has made the bulk of his profits through off-court endorsements, only netting a total of $126 million in salary. He's made more money through endorsements than salary every year since arriving in the NBA in 2003.
Among the companies James has agreements with are McDonald's, Microsoft, State Farm and Nike, the latter of which pays James about $20 million per year under the latest deal between the player and company, which was signed in 2010.
A year after the move to the Heat, James and his marketing firm, LRMR, partnered with Boston based Fenway Sports Management. The deal netted James a seven-figure cash payout, and he also became an investor in British soccer club Liverpool, which is owned by Fenway Sports Group. The marketing partnership created a host of new opportunities for James, particularly in Asia, where Liverpool has a huge following.
James signed a two-year, multi-million dollar deal in 2012 to shill for Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins in Asia. He entered into a partnership last year with Chinese internet services firm Tencent.
The report also notes that James has received extensive payouts after cashing in his equity stakes in various companies, including the bike-maker Canondale and headphones-maker Beats by Dre, which recently sold to Apple for $3 billion.
James, currently going through the free agency process for the second time in his career, has had his representatives meet with several teams, including the Heat, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns. James held meetings with his representative team in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
— Ben Estes