The LeBron Effect

Are we aware of the LeBron Effect? We should by now. The kid from Akron has been rulling the league for the past 15 seasons and his impact has been noticed on, obviously, and off the court too.
The Harvard Kennedy School professor Daniel Shoag and the American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Stan Veuger published a study last season where they traced the spillover effect of James’s career path from Cleveland to Miami and back. The results showed the world that each city had “statistically and economically significant positive effect” on restaurants and bars surrounding the arenas.
Let’s dig into the study. The LeBron Effect was felt within 1,5km of the arena and started to vanish around the 12km mark. Bars and restaurants increased by 13% percent around 1,5km of the arenas and the employment at those establishments skyrocketed by 23.5%.
As reported back in 2015, in a study called LeConomics, with LeBron in town establishments were even “keeping their bartenders and waitresses on payroll instead of laying them off until summer.” According to the same report Cleveland averaged 17,330 fans per game and had 5 sellouts in the 2013/14 season, the last season the King played in Miami. After the “I’m coming home”, with LeBron back in Cleveland, the Quicken Loans Arena sold out each of their 41 games and the season-ticked holders increased as well.
This doesn’t apply for every team in the league but the city of Cleveland charges 8% admissions tax charge on every ticket. With LeBron in town Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County had an 3.66$ millions income, without LeBron the profit was only 2.03$.
As the whole world knows, this summer LeBron took his talents to the West coast and he’s representing the Los Angeles Lakers and the LeBron Effect is already in full form once again. The open day tickets went from 60$ to 545$ on StubHub. Season tickets prices rose from 3,499$ to 5,800$, and the jersey retailer Fanatics saw a 600% spike in sales after the signing of Mr. James was announced.
It’s estimated that his presence in LA will generate 2,989 new jobs and nearly 400$ Millions to the local economy for the next five years.
LeBron personal endorsements include Nike, Sprite, Intel, Kia Motors, Verizon and Beats by Dre, wich money-wise speaking translates to 53$ Millions in 2017 for him. This 2018/19 season LeBron will be making 35.6$ millions and his salary will rise until 41$ millions in the 2021/22 season. By that time, and after 19 seasons as professional LeBron will have earn a record breaking 387.2$ millions. Let’s just say that Kobe Bryant earned 323.3$millions in 20 seasons and Michael Jordan 89.8$ millions over 15 seasons.
LeBron James is the real deal in every aspect. The year before Cleveland drafted him, back in 2003, they were dead last in home attendance. Four years later and the Cavs were top 3. While his tenure in Miami the Heat never averaged below 5th in home attendance. And when he returned to Cleveland the Cavs were back at 2nd in home games attendance, just behind the Chicago Bulls. Last season the Lakers were 10th in attendance, with a home average of 18,934 fans per game. They’re expected to be top 3 next season.
According to data tracker TickerIQ, the average resell ticket for LeBron’s Lakers debut costs 1,761$, making it the fourth most expensive game in the last eight years. Behind the 2010 NBA Finals game seven, 1,811$; game six of the Finals in the same year, 1,912$; and Kobe’s last game in the 2016, 2,003$. That’s the LeBron Effect!
According to Forbes when LeBron left Cleveland the value of the Cavaliers dropped from 476$ millions to 355$ millions in a year!
In Las Vegas, the Golden Nugget refused to open betting on the NBA title without knowing where LeBron James would be playing this season. “This is The LeBron Effect, and it’s the third time it’s happened.” NBA oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said. “Most anyone but him, we’re not concerned about. Nobody can impact the odds the way he can do it.”
We’re about to enter a historical season but we’ve been witnessing a historical career too. We’ve all been witnesses of LeBron Effect.