Back in July of 2020, Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes shocked the baseball world when he became part of owner the Kansas City Royals. The move came after he signed his ten-year, $450 million dollar deal with the Chiefs. Nine months later, another top star invested in a baseball team.
Los Angeles Lakers’ star LeBron James is joining Fenway Sports Group as a partner. As such, James, along with partner Maverick Carter, will become part-owners of the following: The Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club (already owned 2%), Roush Fenway Racing and New England Sports Network, a regional sports channel that carries Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins games, as well as other local games and sports shows.
Pending approval from Major League Baseball, James and Carter would become the first and only black partners in Fenway Sports Group history. Their initial investment is $750 million.
So what does this mean for James and the Boston Red Sox?
For James, it adds to his resume and stock. It’s been no secret that he wants to own an NBA franchise, and this could be the ultimate stepping stone into getting into team ownership. It also helps that Boston is considered a major market: to break into a major market sometimes takes a while due to the overall price and demand.
As a bonus, the ownership group has been one of the most successful. Under their ownership, the Boston Red Sox have won four World Series, and have been perennial playoff contenders every year since they’ve owned the team. Liverpool Football Club has also won a UEFA championship as well as a Premier League championship for the first time in decades under them. Roush-Fenway racing has also seen many wins under the ownership group.
For the Red Sox, it means more than just another partner, and another face above the front office.
The big thing it means is the potential for major players to want to come to Boston. Think back to 2012, when former Lakers’ star and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson bought a stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers. Starting that offseason, the Dodgers attracted higher priced free agents including pitcher Zack Greinke, and the following years saw many players flock to Los Angeles. It eventually built to their World Series championship year in 2020.
It also provides some good karma for the team. While some fans complain about James sharing his thoughts on social and political issues, most don’t talk about the millions of dollars he’s donated to helping kids and other groups. The Red Sox historically are known for their charity donations to the Jimmy Fund but with James’ involvement, it provides an even greater look.
While the visual of a Laker buying into a Boston based team and sports group isn’t a pleasant one, it’s not one to raise too much of an eyebrow. There’s no telling how long James would stay but it will do one thing for sure: put the Boston Red Sox back in the crosshairs of the mainstream sports media.