The Boston Red Sox have gained a global sports star as a partial team owner. LeBron James purchased a minor stake in the MLB franchise at the same time as the team’s long-standing ownership group received a $ 750 million infusion from a private-equity firm.
It was unclear how much James invests in Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club, an English Premier League football team.
The investment by private-equity firm, Redbird Capital Partners, values Fenway Sports Group at about $ 7.3 billion, including its debt. In addition to the sports teams, FSG owns Fenway Park, Roush Fenway Racing, NESN Regional Sports Network and Fenway Sports Management, a marketing company.
James, 36, A member of the los angeles lakers Which is in its 18th NBA season, Has a long history with FSG With Fenway Sports Management in 2011, this allows them to represent their global marketing rights, and as part of that deal a small ownership stake in Liverpool FC was taken but by investing in FSG itself, James acquired the Red Sox And added other FSG companies to its portfolio.
Maverick Carter, a longtime friend and business partner of James, also invested in FSG. The deal would make the pair the first black partner in Fenway Sports Group.
The investment, which still requires approval from Major League Baseball, was confirmed by two people he knew who spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were before the public announcement of FSG News were not authorized to talk to the media. The Boston Globe first reported Investments from RedBird and James.
James, an Ohio native, describes himself as a lifelong Yankees fan and created a stir during the 2007 baseball playoffs when he wore a Yankee hat to an American League playoff game in Cleveland. He then actively worked for Cleveland in the 2016 World Series, just a few months after the Cavaliers led the city’s first major sporting championship in 52 years.
Expanding his role with FSG, James is one of several undertakings off the basketball court, including his More the Vote group, which aims to fight voter suppression; His work with Carter at Springhill Entertainment, a production company; And starring, as well as producing the film “Space Jam: A New Heritage,” Scheduled to be released this summer.
Although James has the highest profile among new investors, RedBird’s involvement is likely to have a greater impact on FSG’s operations.
RedBird Capital Partners is led by Gerry Cardinale, who helped the Yankees and Dallas Cowboys create Legend Hospitality when they previously worked at Goldman Sachs. RedBird recently joined Yankees, Amazon and others Purchasing YES network From the Walt Disney Company. Redbird also recently Bought 85 percent stake At Toulouse Football Club, which plays in France’s second football division.
FSG has more than 20 investors, all called partners, but is led by John Henry, Tom Werner and Michael Gordon. Redbird’s stake in FSG would be around 11 percent, surpassing Gordon’s stake to become the third-largest investor, according to people with knowledge of the deal.
Henry and Werner Paid $ 660 million for the Red Sox in 2002 And about that $ 476 million for Liverpool in 2010. Both teams won long-awaited championships under FSG and would certainly cost several billions if they were sold. Redbird’s investment would allow FSG’s existing partners to cash out some of those profits without relinquishing control of the franchise. According to The Boston Globe, more than $ 600 million will go to FSG partners.
Any money left over can be invested in a variety of ways, including upgrading the roster of existing teams.
After winning their last World Series title in 2018, the Red Sox drastically reduced their payroll, notably trading star outfielder Mookie Bates to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who later traded Bates to the biggest contracts in the history of the game Signed one from. Liverpool have won the Champions League and Premier League in recent seasons, but have been reluctant to spend on the depth of the roster, a decision Caused a crisis this season After the season-ending injury to key players.