As of 12/13/16 the LeBron James net worth sum of $311 million comes from his NBA salary, endorsements and investments, less tax and expenses.
Basketball contracts since 2003 have added $172 million to Lebron James’ net worth. Endorsements have contributed an estimated $297 million. James’ investments have kicked in another $86 million. Expenses and taxes estimated at $331 million have knocked down LeBron James’ net worth. James has promised to give a full scholarship to the University of Akron to any Akron Ohio youth who completes his “I Promise” campaign. The cost could run well into the tens of millions. That’s okay, because James’ 2016-17 season salary has been bumped up to $30,963,450.
LeBron James Net Worth Facts
- LeBron James net worth 2016: $311 million.
- LeBron James net worth 2004: $13 million
- LeBron James net worth vs Kobe Bryant net worth: 5% larger.
- LeBron James net worth vs Tom Brady net worth: About the same.
- LeBron James net worth vs Barack Obama net worth: 70 times larger.
- LeBron James net worth vs Beyonce net worth: 1.8 times smaller.
- LeBron James net worth vs Donald Trump net worth: 27 times smaller.
- LeBron James net worth vs Hillary Clinton net worth: 6.5 times larger.
- LeBron James net worth vs typical American household net worth: 3,088 times larger.
- LeBron James net worth vs Warren Buffet net worth: 319 times smaller.
- LeBron James net worth vs Bill Gates net worth: 381 times smaller.
The LeBron James net worth total is $311 million. That’s 5% larger than Kobe Bryant’s $200 million net worth. Tom Brady’s net worth of $210 million is about the same as LeBron James’ net worth. James’ net worth is only about 4% as big as Donald Trump’s $5.4 billion. Barack Obama’s $3.2 million net worth is 70 times smaller than LeBron James’ net worth, and LeBron James’ net worth is 3,088 times larger than the typical American household’s net worth of $68,000. Finally, Bill Gates’ $80 billion net worth is 381 times larger than LeBron James’ net worth.
In 2015, James signed the biggest endorsement deal in Nike’s history. The seven year deal is worth a reported $90 million. As of 12/13/16, James was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year.
LeBron James Net Worth Timeline
Over time, LeBron James’ salary and endorsement deals have grown steadily. James’ salary has grown from $4 million a year in 2003 to about $20 million a year in 2015. He has earned on average over $22 million a year in endorsement deals since signing on as a rookie with the Cleveland Cavaliers at age 18. Estimated investment income ranges from $800,000 to $16 million annually. The 2008/2009 financial crisis likely shocked the LeBron James net worth figure by 30% to 40%. However, when Beats sold to Apple in 2014, the star probably added $30 million to his net worth.
LeBron James Net Worth by Year
|LeBron James net worth 2004||$11,665,796|
|LeBron James net worth 2005||$24,214,608|
|LeBron James net worth 2006||$37,699,035|
|LeBron James net worth 2007||$52,723,593|
|LeBron James net worth 2008||$73,021,125|
|LeBron James net worth 2009||$95,366,384|
|LeBron James net worth 2010||$119,882,236|
|LeBron James net worth 2011||$145,093,354|
|LeBron James net worth 2012||$172,739,843|
|LeBron James net worth 2013||$202,967,824|
|LeBron James net worth 2014||$235,932,188|
|LeBron James net worth 2015||$271,830,086|
|LeBron James net worth 2016||$311,291,580|
LeBron James Net Worth Breakdown
The biggest slice of the LeBron James net worth pie comes from endorsements at $267 million. After that, basketball contracts of $150 million are the next biggest portion of James’ net worth. Investments bring up the rear with $39 million. LeBron James’ net worth would be a lot higher were it not for taxes. As the chart below shows, James paid an estimated $246 million in expenses from 2003 to 2015. The biggest chunk of those expenses are James’ income taxes. James is in a 39.6% tax bracket, which means he has paid between $13 million and $25 million in federal taxes each year. Other expenses include state and local taxes, agent fees and cost of living expenses. Clearly it costs a lot of money to maintain a wealth pile as big as LeBron James’.
LeBron James Net Worth Sources
|LeBron James Basketball Contracts since 2003||$172,770,183|
|LeBron James endorsements since 2003||$297,000,000|
|Other Income (Merchandise, acting)||$86,385,092|
|Investments (6% of net worth/yr)||$86,588,164|
|Expenses (Agent fees, staff, taxes)||-$331,451,859|
|Total LeBron James Net Worth||$311,291,580|
Salary and LeBron James Net Worth
The LeBron James net worth story started at the young age of 18, when the Cleveland Cavaliers signed the player as a rookie for $4 million. Since that time, James’ salary has grown year over year, doubling in 2007 and then nearly doubling again by 2014. Additions to LeBron James’ net worth from salary total nearly $150 million. Annual salaries earned by James are listed in the table below. All told, salary earnings account for less than half of LeBron James’ net worth.
LeBron James Contracts
|Season||Salary Adding to LeBron James Net Worth||Age|
|Total Basketball Earnings Adding to LeBron James Net Worth||$172,770,183|
LeBron James Net Worth in the News
King James has said he’d like to appear in Space Jam 2. He also said that deal isn’t on the radar yet. His role in the 2015 movie Trainwreck surprised critics and fans alike by being a lot funnier than expected. James is starting to seem a bit like Bo Jackson, football and baseball player from the 1990’s known for his “Bo Knows” ads. There’s seemingly nothing James can’t do and do well. The tweet below may be tantalizing, but according to James, it just isn’t true. However, as of 5/4/16, it does look like the movie is going to be a reality. Movie site IMDB has announced that Space Jam 2 is in pre-production. So far the site lists only one cast member: LeBron James.
Endorsements and LeBron James Net Worth
The LeBron James net worth number is made up of far more than just salary. In fact, endorsements make up the lion’s share of James’ net worth. Industry estimates point to career endorsement earnings of about $297 million for King James. At the young age of 18, LeBron signed a whopping estimated $90 million dollar, eight year contract with Nike. The star forward has also signed multi-million dollar endorsement deals with Upper Deck, Coca Cola, Bubblicious, State Farm, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Samsung and Kia.
Below is a list of endorsement deals adding to the LeBron James net worth calculations. The figures in most cases are estimates based on industry figures, since dollar values on the deals aren’t made public.
|LeBron James Net Worth From Endorsements|
|Total Endorsements Adding to LeBron James Net Worth||$267,000,000|
Investments and LeBron James Net Worth
When someone racks up as much wealth as LeBron James, they have to do something with their money other than keep it in a checking account. While James doesn’t release investment info to the public, we estimate he’s socked away most of his net worth in investments. At a conservative estimate of 6%, that means investments add between $2 million and $8 million a year to the LeBron James’ net worth amount.
The one exception is the 2008/2009 financial crisis. The fiscal crash that happened in those years would have likely sapped 30% to 40% from LeBron James’ net worth.
In 2014, a special business deal added $30 million to James’ net worth when Apple bought Beats. James owned a small stake in the company and cleaned up big on the deal.
Business Deals and LeBron James Net Worth
You can’t be dumb and be as good an athlete as LeBron James. It’s no surprise then, that billionaire investor Warren Buffett says LeBron is “smart about business” and doesn’t miss a thing. As proof, in 2008, LeBron made a deal with Beats By Dre to promote its high end headphones. As part of the deal, the star forward received a small percentage of the company. In 2014 when Apple bought Beats for $3 billion, LeBron got a fat $30 million dollar payout. That’s estimated as the biggest investment payout for a pro athlete ever.
Expenses and LeBron James Net Worth
The final LeBron James net worth number may be $311 million, but it would be $640 million if not for a whopping $331 million dollars in expenses and taxes.
Is it really possible for someone to spend $331 million dollars and get nothing tangible in return? We think it is. Considering that James is in a 39.6% federal tax bracket, he paid a whopping $17 million in 2015 federal taxes alone. In fact, the star has likely paid over $10 million per year in state and federal taxes each year since 2004, totting up a massive $248 million career federal tax payout. Taxes have taken a man-sized chunk out of James’ net worth.
We also estimated another 15% for agent fees and other expenses. In reality, that figure could be as much as 20% per year.
LeBron James Net Worth Expenses
|Total Expenses Subtracting from LeBron James Net Worth||$248,028,568||$83,423,291|
Charity and LeBron James Net Worth
LeBron James donates at least some portion of his net worth to charity. James’ official website is filled with dozens of charitable events the player has created. Charitable acts range from donating uniforms to school sports teams to gala events for kids with cancer.
Thee LeBron James Family Foundation fosters several charitable initiatives including Wheels for Education, the Akron I Promise Network, The LeBron Advisory Board and more.
LeBron James Net Worth in the Media
We found several instances of LeBron James net worth in the media. Media estimates for LeBron James net worth range from $300 million to $350 million. Forbes doesn’t have an estimate for LeBron James’ net worth, but they do put his career earnings at $450 million. After our deep dive into his finances, we agree, placing our estimate for James’ career earnings at $456 million.
Net worth and earnings are two different animals though. We figure LeBron James’ net worth was docked by about $246 million in taxes and other expenses. That puts our final LeBron James net worth figure at $223 million.
In the chart above, our estimate is the lowest one out there. We’re confident that James has earned about $456 million so far in his career, including about $172 million in salary, $297 million in endorsements and $86 million in investments. We’re also confident James’ 39.6% tax bracket took a big bite from his net worth. Our calculations leave LeBron James’ net worth at a fairly solid $311 million.
How Accurate Are Our LeBron James Net Worth Facts?
Endorsements, investments and expenses are another matter.
Figuring the portion of LeBron James’ net worth contributed by endorsements takes some guesswork. While we know the companies James made endorsement deals with and the duration of each deal, we don’t have solid dollar figures. For dollar amounts, we had to rely on industry estimates. However, it’s a safe bet that James has added at least $180 million to his net worth from endorsements. The figure could even go as high as $320 million.
Investments are another grey area. The average return on a mix of stock and bond investments is 6%. Following the stock market’s ups and downs, we can estimate that LeBron James’ net worth added 6% in most years and lost 30% to 40% after the financial crisis in 2008. We also know James earned an estimated $30 million when Apple bought Beats. That gives a career investment income of $86 million added to LeBron James’ net worth. It’s entirely possible though that the figure could be a lot higher or a lot lower.
Expenses are somewhat easier to estimate. We know James is in a 39.6% federal tax bracket. We also know he paid state taxes and at most a 3% agent fee, though James’ agent fee was likely lower than 3%. We know at least 40% of LeBron James’ net worth got eaten up by federal taxes and another 5% at least by state taxes. We estimated other expenses at around another 5% to 10%, though James’ expenses could be a bit higher or lower than that.
LeBron James’ Net Worth in the Future
LeBron James’ net worth will certainly grow in the future. James’ contract has him earning $23 million for the 2015-2016 season and $24 million for the 2016-2017 season. With estimated endorsements at $22 million a year, investments at $12 million to $14 million a year and expenses at $35 million to $36 million a year, that puts LeBron James’ net worth at $350 million by the middle of 2017.
Projected LeBron James Net Worth 2017
|Projected LeBron James Salary||Endorsements||Investments||Expenses||Net Worth|
|Projected LeBron James Net Worth 2017||$257,702,802|
LeBron James Net Worth vs Michael Jordan Net Worth
The LeBron James net worth total of $311 million is nowhere near Michael Jordan’s estimated net worth of $1.1 billion. That said, the debate over which player is best rages on.