Los Angeles Lakers champion LeBron James recently became a member of the Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of MLB’s Boston Red Sox. And with that news, one of Beantown’s most storied sports teams is now partly owned by one of the biggest superstars from its rival city. Along with longtime business partner and friend Maverick Carter, this is the first time that anyone Black has been given “a seat at the table” in the twenty-year history of the FSG.
“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,” James told ESPN after his Lakers’ 137-121 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. “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.”
Along with the Sox, Fenway Sports Group also owns English soccer team Liverpool Football Club and NASCAR team Roush Fenway Racing as well as Fenway Park itself, Fenway Sports Management, and the media company New England Sports Network. It is not clear what degree of ownership James now holds at FSG, but his addition comes at the same time the organization received a private-equity investment for $750 million.
James has long been known to be a New York Yankees fan, so it might appear conflicting that he now financially backs their archenemy. But James has actually been working with FSG’s marketing arm, Fenway Sports Management, over the past decade. In fact, he was given a minority ownership stake of Liverpool F.C. in 2011 for the right to market him globally, which makes this recent move a logical furtherance of James’ relationship with FSG and adds their other holdings – especially the $3.3 billion Red Sox – to his portfolio.
But when asked his thoughts specifically about the BoSox, James said instead that “we [already] know the history of the World Series championships that they’ve brought home to Boston and players that have come through there and the legacy that they hold in that area.”
Let’s see how the rest of Beantown feels about its new sports king.