The world of basketball in the U.S. was rocked recently when the NBA’s biggest superstar, LeBron James, announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time in his career to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
His four year deal is worth $154 million. The Lakers, Los Angeles and LeBron himself are all expected to cash in on the move.
CGTN’s May Lee has more.
Fans that are ecstatic, but there’s another big benefit to the King’s arrival. Wherever LeBron goes, an economic boom follows…starting with ticket sales.
Season tickets for the Lakers jumped the day of the announcement from $3500 to $5800 and that’s just for the nose bleed section.
“This move, the fact that it’s the second largest market in the United States is a colossal impact for the league and it’s going to drive even more interest just because it’s the Laker’s brand and the LeBron James brand coming together,” Courtney Brunious, associate director of the USC Sports Business Institute says
Area businesses are also expected to reap the rewards as history has proven. In both Cleveland and Miami where LeBron played, local business increased by 13 percent and employment went up by more than 23 percent.
As for LeBron, joining the Lakers is about more than just the $40 million, yearly paycheck. It’s about growing his business empire that already includes LA-based production company Spring Hill Entertainment. Being part of the storied Lakers franchise and living in Los Angeles will give LeBron a much bigger platform.
“This isn’t your traditional situation where LeBron is going to a franchise that needs that boost,” Brunious said. “The Lakers are there, The Lakers are the premier basketball franchise globally. Everybody knows about the Lakers and their history, their championships and existing style of play that they’re known for so by LeBron coming to the Lakers that’s just going to boost his ability to be known globally more so than just what he’s done on this own.”
As for the Cleveland Cavaliers, if history repeats itself, the team’s value will decline. When LeBron left in 2010, the Cavs’ valuation dropped 25 percent. Experts argued if a similar dip happens this time, the team could take a $330 million hit.
No question how Cleveland feels about LeBron’s move. His massive banner downtown was taken down immediately.
But what if you’re a Cavaliers fan? Well, all isn’t completely lost. Believe it or not, there’s something called the Jersey Assurance program. If you purchased an official LeBron James Cavs jersey in the last 3 months, you can exchange it, free of charge, for a different Cavs jersey or a James’ Lakers jersey.
Mike Bako talks about LeBron James signing with Los Angeles Lakers
CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Mike Bako, sports editor at DailyNational.com and sports analyst on Fox News Channel about Lebron James move to the Los Angeles Lakers and what it means to the league.