LeBron holding Nikes

LeBron Passes Tiger Woods as Top Athlete Brand in the World


While LeBron James is currently focused on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ fortunes for the upcoming year, Forbes Magazine has declared him to be the top sports brand in the world, supplanting golfer Tiger Woods.

The business magazine determines a player’s brand by determining how much the athlete makes in off-the-court money compared to the average of the Top 10 in his individual sport.

James, who makes an estimated $53 million in endorsements each year, saw his value increase from $27 million last year to $37 million this year. That’s one million more than Woods, whose play on the course hasn’t been the same since his marital scandal in late 2009.

One of the key reasons that James was able to move up was because of the reported $30 million stake he had in Beats Electronics, which was sold to Apple for $3 billion this past summer.

From an overall perspective, the biggest endorsement deals for James are with Nike, McDonalds, Coca Cola and Upper Deck.

Ironically, both James and Woods share the same birthday, December 30, though Woods is nine years older.




Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavs Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavs Nation in the months ahead.

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