LeBron James achète des parts de Liverpool FC!

Oui oui vous ne rêvez pas! Le grand LeBron James vient d’acquérir des parts du club de Steven Gerrard, Liverpool FC.

Je vais tenter de vous l’expliquer dans les paragraphes qui suivent…

John W Henry - propriétaire Liverpool FC

LRMR Marketing & Branding, l’entreprise de LeBron James, vient de s’associer avec Fenway Sports Management (FSM) – l’entreprise, anciennement appelé New England Sports Ventures, qui gère les droits des Boston Red Sox entre autres – dans l’optique de gérer les droits du joueur et donc booster les revenus issus des partenariats et du marketing de la marque « LeBron James » à l’international, ce qui permettra au joueur d’accroitre encore plus sa notoriété.

En octobre 2010, FSM a acheté les Reds de Liverpool pour une somme avoisinant les 340 millions d’euros, faisant de John Henry & Tom Werner, les nouveaux propriétaires du club de Steven Gerrard.

Donc, dans le cadre du deal entre FSM et LRMR, LeBron James et Maverick Carter (CEO de LRMR) ont obtenu des parts du club de la Mersey, classé 8ème club le plus riche selon Deloitte (et 6ème club le plus riche selon Forbes), faisant donc du joueur des Miami Heat l’un des actionnaires minoritaires du club. C’est tout simplement une première mondiale en marketing sportif. Jamais un sportif d’une telle renommée n’avait investi dans un club aussi grand que Liverpool FC.

Pour Ian Ayre, Directeur Général de Liverpool FC, « LeBron partage notre amour du sport et nous sommes très heureux de l’accueillir dans la grande famille de Liverpool. […] Nous avons hâte de travailler avec LeBron, LRMR et FSM et identifier sur les opportunités commerciales que ce nouveau partenariat peuvent nous offrir en Angleterre et surtout à l’étranger ».

En effet, ce partenariat laisse entrevoir de belles choses pour Liverpool et LeBron James. Au lendemain de l’annonce de l’accord entre la NBA et la ville de Manchester pour l’organisation de matchs dans la MEN Arena à partir du printemps 2011, un accord de telle ampleur entre LeBron James et Liverpool peut créer de réelles synergies innovantes et opportunités pour le club et le joueur.

LeBron James à Paris en décembre 2009

Pour Liverpool, la proximité avec Manchester United (seulement 50kms d’écart) permettra de mettre en oeuvre des activations RP voire grassroots avec le joueur (séances de dédicaces, jeux avec les basketteurs des alentours, etc.). Pour LeBron James, ce deal lui permettra de travailler sa notoriété à l’international avec un objectif en ligne de mire : devenir milliardaire. Ce qui ne devrait pas trop tarder puisqu’en plus de son salaire annuel estimé à 15.8 millions de dollars, Mr. James perçoit quelques 30 millions de dollars chaque année de ses deals avec des marques de premier rang comme McDonald’s, Nike ou Coca-Cola…

« 18 titres de champions… Je me vois bien tenter de faire la même chose » dixit LeBron James en parlant du palmarès de Liverpool FC.

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