Did LeBron James Help Increase Heat Franchise Value by $60 Million?

by June 21, 2011

LeBron may have failed to bring an NBA championship trophy to Miami in his first season, but he reportedly made the Heat’s bean counters very happy. From the Sun-Sentinel: “Since joining the Heat, James has been the NBA’s leader in endorsement earnings, at about $30 million, while at the same time becoming the most polarizing figure in sports. Clearly, America loves to hate LeBron. The impact of that has been perhaps without precedent and far beyond what could have been foreseen. ‘I know the Heat’s franchise value went up $60 million after signing LeBron,’ said Dr. Patrick Rishe, who calculated the LeBron Effect for business magazine Forbes. ‘You had ticket sales going up, sponsorships and local media deals going up. It’s hard to think of any one athlete whose changing of teams [is comparable].'”