View Full Version : Knicks to LeBron: Come to NY and Make $1B

07-02-2010, 09:21 AM
Steve Bertoni

The Knicks just finished pitching LeBron James. Their main selling point: You could make a billion dollars playing in New York. You can't earn anything close to that anywhere else.

To make the case, they commissioned a study from marketing consultant Interbrand (See the powerpoint below--hit "full screen" to view.) that says LeBron could earn close to $1 billion over his lifetime in salary and endorsements if he makes Madison Square Garden his permanent home--their high-end estimate sees him earning as much as $2 billion. That outshines the estimated $700 million heíd likely earn in Cleveland, the $690 million in Chicago, and $600 million in Miami.
To come up with the numbers for the Knicks, Interbrand says it ran through 50,000 computer models of a potential LeBron career, using more than 200 variables like individual performance, fan demographics and championships. The report is light on the details of its methodology, but comes to this conclusion: LeBron has a 50% chance of earning at least $1 billion in New York. In Cleveland and Chicago the odds fall to 1%. The study put a 0% chance of LeBron making $1 billion playing for Miami.

Included in Interbrand's math: an NBA title in New York could be worth $240 million to LeBron, about $60 million more than if he brought a ring home to Cleveland, and more than double the value of a Chicago championship. Why? NYC is a huge market, the business capital of the world and home to a large (and wealthy) fan base hungry for a winning team--the Knicks havenít held the title since 1973. LeBron already owns Cleveland, a small city with little clout. Michael Jordanís six championships still hover over Chicago. Miami has a fickle fan base, a recent title and its own superstar in Dwayne Wade.

A very interesting article. There's more to it, if you're interested.