LeBron James has become a partner in Fenway Sports Group (FSG), as it looks to grow its sports empire. The owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC also recently approved a $750 million investment from RedBird Capital in a deal that valued FSG at over $7.3 billion. The Boston Globe first reported the news Tuesday. The deal is pending approval by Major League Baseball, which has no restriction about owning teams in other sports or leagues.
As partner, James will become a part-owner of the Red Sox and other FSG holdings, which include regional network NESN and NASCAR team Roush Fenway Racing. James was already a Liverpool minority owner, getting 2% of the English Premier League club in 2011 at the same time Fenway Sports Management partnered with James’ sports marketing group, LRMR, to represent his global marketing and brand rights. “For me, this is about being in business with an organization that loves sports as much as I do,” James in a statement at the time.
James’s longtime business partner Maverick Carter will also become an FSG partner; they’ll be the company’s first black partners, according to The Globe.
Going forward, FSG’s ambitions in the sports world are wide-ranging. The Globe reported that executives have their eyes on “NFL and NBA franchises, another European soccer club, NHL, MLS, WNBA and NWSL teams, plus sports betting, esports and data analytics companies.”
FSG didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment. RedBird founder Gerry Cardinale declined to comment. Cardinale had previously considered taking FSG public through his recently formed SPAC, RedBall Acquisition Corp.
One thing James and Cardinale can bond over: The Red Sox’s rival Yankees. James has been open about his childhood love of the Bronx Bombers. Cardinale has sat on the board of the team’s parent company and its YES Network, a RedBird investment since 2019.