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LeBron James: The master of business layout you didn't know

   If you could exchange 24 hours of life with another person, who would you choose?

  For many people, LeBron James is the only option. The height of 6 feet 9 inches, the weight of 250 pounds, the wide stride length and the rapidly contracting muscle groups allow him to run as fast as the wind. If the rumor is true, his ankle is about the same size as an ordinary man's shoulder.

  Owning his body means being able to do anything, complete domination, and freedom.

  Like all talented athletes, he showed an unusual talent and focus on goals disproportionate to his age. When I was interviewed at the age of 16, I was asked "What is your goal?" The answer was "Enter the NBA". The other party asked "Do you want to be the best one?" "Yes" without any hesitation.

  There are countless data proving his brilliant career. 4 championships, 4 MVPs, number of appearances and time are ranked first among active players, and the total score ranks third in league history. With his current performance, he surpasses the previous ones. It was only a matter of time before the two Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Malone.

  People will not crown others for no reason. Although there is no shortage of genius in the sports world, there is only one "Zhanhuang". This faith of loyalty is about responsibility, passion, self-discipline, gratitude, and sacrifice. These words once appeared on the wall of the basketball team locker room of ST.VINCENT.ST.MARY High School (the school where James attended), and now they are flowing in James’ blood. .

  James, who has occupied the top spot in the NBA for many years, is one of the wealthiest people in the United States. Few people know that before he started his career, he was already worth $92 million.

  But owning wealth and maintaining wealth growth are two different things, and sometimes the latter is even more difficult.

  Allen Iverson’s career has received enough salary and endorsement income. According to incomplete statistics, more than 200 million US dollars, with a money-making efficiency of more than 99% of his contemporaries, but what is shocking and frustrating is that the current He was on the verge of bankruptcy and was ridiculed for "even the pension money is almost gone."

  The 36-year-old LeBron James’ basketball career is coming to an end. In the past few years, he has gradually shifted his desire for victory outside the basketball court, more precisely, building a business empire around his personal brand.

  He owns the physical industry, intellectual property rights, and became the owner of a professional team. This summer, "Slam Dunk 2: A New Legend" starring him will be released soon. "Jian Huang" is one step closer to his idol Jordan. Apart from the recognized GOAT (Greatest Player), Jordan is best known. The label is "Boss Joe" with outstanding business acumen.



  In "LeBron James' Business Empire," ESPN studio basketball commentator and columnist Brian Wenhorst recorded how James turned his fame into a billion-dollar net worth. People are accustomed to focusing on this great player's running, assists, steals, and dunks on the court year after year. They don't know how James off the court got to this day is also an extraordinary story.


"You can't just look at the check, you have to think about the whole life"


  In May 2003, the last year of James High School, in a conference room in Canton, Massachusetts, a man held a check for $10 million with James' name written on it.

  It was a check that could be taken home immediately and deposited in the bank the next morning. Holding this 8-digit check, James's first thought was the rent of the government-subsidized apartment in Akron, Ohio, that he and his mother had. It was $17 a month.

  The second thing James thought of was the other invitations he received, which was James' first shoe contract. A few weeks ago, he had just announced that he would join the professional league, and Reebok was the first to attack him.

  They opened a contract with the best conditions for a basketball player, with a total contract value of more than $100 million. Reebok executives in charge of the negotiations said confidently, "We feel that as long as people offer the price they want, they will accept it."

  No one will blame James for accepting that agreement, even Nike and Adidas, who both extended an olive branch, can understand him. That might be an invitation that shouldn't be rejected.

  But the 18-year-old who had nothing from childhood to freshman finally chose Nike, and the total contract price was lower than the price offered by Reebok. He likes this company and thinks it is cool; also because he has watched Jordan wear Nike since he was a child, he especially wants to be like his idol.

  From a long-term perspective, after obtaining the franchise income, James' income on this contract will be much higher than the initial amount, and his total income exceeds 100 million US dollars.

  And at that important moment, James made this choice because he valued more of his spiritual assets, rather than just trying his best to make more money. He has made it clear that giving up Reebok's higher offer and working with Nike is the best business decision he has made in his life.

The 36-year-old LeBron James’ basketball career is coming to an end. In the past few years, he has gradually shifted his desire for victory outside the basketball court, more precisely, building a business empire around his personal brand.


  The personal value system and instinct that James showed in this process laid the foundation for many business decisions he made in his future career.

Everything is focused on connections, long-term thinking, and value utilization


  Although most of the time behind the scenes, Paul Wacht is the most influential force in James' business career. With Wacht, a trading master as a mentor, James got to know the "stock god" Buffett, began to try to build new partnerships, create new companies, and thus added hundreds of millions of dollars in assets for himself.

  Through his own partners and contacts, Wacht opened up a channel for James to efficiently use his reputation and influence. James quickly understood that the income and satisfaction of finding the right partner is much higher than simply Obtain the return of the sponsorship contract.

  Under Wacht's lead, James agreed to publicize the company on the premise of becoming a Beats shareholder. James' team came up with a brand new form of marketing that allows players to become models on the fashion showcase when they arrive and leave the arena. James gave this expensive large headset as a gift to his teammates in the American "Dream Team" in 2008, turning it into a symbol of "cool".

  In just a few years, Beats headphones have been everywhere. James has countless customized versions of headphones, these headphones, like Nike equipment, become his personal standard.


  When the popularity peaked in early 2014, Beats agreed to sell the company to Apple for a staggering $3 billion in cash. James, who joined the company at the beginning and helped the company gradually open the market, received huge returns.

  When Apple completed the acquisition, James had more than $50 million in revenue, making Beats the second largest business in his life after Nike. This acquisition also allowed him to establish contact with Apple.

  The above cooperation concept is also in line with James' original intention when he started his own business: he wants to have more control over his own business. This success has brought him a huge enlightenment, and everything is focused on connections, long-term thinking, and value utilization.

  All of this is in preparation for larger-scale operations in the future.

"Decide"


  "I will bring my talent to South Beach." When he said this to the 30 million viewers in front of the TV, the 25-year-old James knew nothing about what he was greeted, let alone one after another. The public opinion backlash will haunt him for a whole season and become the biggest "stain" in his career.

  Prior to this, no player had chosen to buy out a TV station for a certain period of time to announce his new owner, not to mention the protagonist and initiator of the incident was James, who carried Cleveland's "village hope". Since joining the Cavaliers in 2003, he has always played the role of the god of the city, and under the pressure of the savior of his hometown team, a 10-story LeBron poster once appeared in downtown Cleveland.

  James' decision shocked the NBA and ignited the anger in the hearts of Cleveland fans. Driven by a strong sense of betrayal, they took to the streets and publicly burned James' jerseys sold on the market.

  It was not only James’ departure that irritated them, but also the way he announced his decision-in a TV show jointly curated by his team and ESPN called "The Decision", people thought that James’ doing so was a manifestation of extreme self-interest. , Ruthless.

  Although the "Decision" almost paid James the price of "being sent to hell", if he and the team are allowed to choose again, I am afraid there will be no change in the result.

  After all, the real goal of "The Decision" is to "control the narrative." As senior media person Don Van Natta said in the documentary "Behind the Scenes: The Decision", "The Decision set off a revolution and accelerated the NBA and The shift in the balance of power in the media world".

  Ten years later, more and more top sports stars choose to set up or invest in media publishing platforms and film and television entertainment companies by themselves. In choosing what kind of story to tell and what kind of self they present to the public, they aspire to have 100% Taking the initiative and controlling the content of the narrative can control the "truth"-the "truth" created by James.

  They not only tell stories to the media, they directly face consumers. Looking back now, the failure of "The Decision" is not unrelated to its overly advanced business philosophy.

Go to Los Angeles, the top business choice


  In the summer of 2018, James made the third choice of his career, signing a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers, and he is going to Los Angeles.

  After winning the championship in 2016, James knew that he had the capital to leave Cleveland as long as he wanted to. When he returned to the Cavaliers in 2014, James thought about how to become the owner of the team after retirement. For this reason, he asked Cavaliers owner Gilbert about the team's long-term plan, hoping to become each other's business partners.

  However, the relationship between Gilbert and James has been very stiff, and there is no sign of repair, which has accelerated James's actions. He believes that there is no prospect for development in cooperation with Gilbert and began to consider Los Angeles.

  Prior to this, James and his agent Carter had created a small entertainment empire that could continue to develop in the future. After reaching an agreement with Time Warner in 2015, the Spring Hill production company he founded was renamed Spring Hill Entertainment. "Slam Dunk 2" is destined to be the greatest achievement of the relationship between the two parties.

  The first "Slam Dunk in the Air" was released in 1996. In the movie, "Flying Man Jordan" confronts "Hare Jordan" played by Bugs Bunny. The most successful part of this movie is the sale of derivative products, including products with Jordan's portrait and the single "I Believe I Can Fly" sung by R. Kelly. To this day, this movie is still making money.

  Warner Bros. has always hoped that James can accept and accept this role.

  Transferring to the Lakers may be a regrettable choice in James' basketball career, but after careful consideration, it may become a top business choice in the future.

  ※※※※※

  If you think about it carefully, you will find that joining the Miami Heat in 2010 was a basketball-based decision and a way for James to create a chance for him to win a championship. Returning to the Cavaliers in 2014 was a decision about spiritual assets or influence. This choice allowed James to erase the stain on his reputation and to consolidate his historical position by winning the championship in his hometown. Going to Los Angeles in 2018 is a business decision. It is a choice after 15 years of learning, positioning, and using the unparalleled reputation and opportunities created by his basketball talent to reach the culmination.



  The purpose of this choice is to let James live a good life in the next 50 years, and what can be left for his family after he leaves this world.

  Wei Hanfeng, the former executive editor of the Chinese version of "Sports Illustrated", has been following James for many years. In his view, James has proved himself to be an outstanding master of layout in both the basketball field and the business field. He is like a top chess master. I can always sow a certain seed calmly and lightly, and suddenly take root and sprout into a continuous forest on a certain day.

  "Why James's influence in the NBA is getting bigger and bigger, why NBA critics are now full of his'lick the dog', why are enemies like Drummond Green now their best friends, why some younger brothers would rather drop pay and still follow him to play Because he is a real golden goose, the genius brain and the operation of the fifth layer can make all the friends who follow him make money together. He has activated all the resources and opened up all the outlets." Wei Hanfeng told "CEIBS Business Review", "His layout may one day touch and control American politics. No one has the IQ of his strategist, strategist, and business man."

  For James, basketball is a tool, it is not At the end, take him from the slums to the $1 billion business empire, and perhaps "bring him from CCTV 5 sets to CCTV 1 set" to reach the peak of power.


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