Lebron made it chic.
Will Michael Vick follow in his footsteps?
Since Lebron’s deal to become part owner of Liverpool FC, any pro athlete must be wondering what’s the deal with owning a Soccer club. African-American U.S. pro athletes must have really raised an eyebrow or two because most of them are coming from areas where Soccer was not made a priority in their lives.
If Lebron thinks pro Soccer is a good investment, many others will consider it, just because Lebron is the representation of ‘cool’ in the sports world.
He periodically hangs with Warren Buffett. He travels the world and has made financial investing his main hobby. He has been quoted as wanting to build a financial kingdom, which suits his nickname, ‘King James.’
Many pro athletes can invest, but few can pull serious strings to become majority owners in the NBA, NFL or MLB. It took, arguably, the world’s biggest star athlete, Michael Jordan, a long while to become a majority owner in the NBA.
MLS is another animal. It is in the reasonable range for some of sport’s biggest stars. Already, Steve Nash of the NBA’S Phoenix Suns is co-owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps franchise. Also, world-famous boxer Oscar de la Hoya owns a majority of the Houston Dynamo franchise.
Lebron has different kind of money than even sport’s biggest stars. He went to Europe to own a team with a long history and a reputation among the world’s greatest clubs. Certainly, he could consider MLS ownership. If he invested in Soccer already, he would be smart to divvy up some of his fortune on Soccer in the U.S.
Evidently, Vick had piled up quite a bit of debt over the last few years due to what transpired in his life with his felony convictions, but endorsement deals have helped him recoup much of it and he should be sitting farely well by now with the 100 million dollar contract he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles last August.
One idea may end up being a partnership with Lebron (even though Lebron’s money is probably at the level of owning an NFL or NBA franchise). Surely, MLS would be a fun hobby for Lebron.
The questions become where Vick and Lebron might try to put an MLS franchise and are they willing to build a soccer-specific stadium?
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com