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LeBron James becomes minority shareholder in Liverpool FC

From basketball to soccer: LeBron James now owns a small stake in English club Liverpool.
From basketball to soccer: LeBron James now owns a small stake in English club Liverpool.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • LeBron James becomes minority shareholder in English soccer club Liverpool
  • NBA star signs representation deal with Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group
  • James is trying to gain equity in a number of global companies
  • Liverpool say James can open doors for the club and vice versa

(CNN) -- NBA star LeBron James has become a minority shareholder in English soccer team Liverpool after penning a representation deal with the club's owners.

James, who plays for the Miami Heat, has partnered his own sports marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing, with Fenway Sports Management (FSM) to represent him exclusively worldwide, Liverpool's official website confirmed.

FSM is in the portfolio of companies owned by Fenway Sports Group, who own the Anfield club, and as part of the deal with James the 26-year-old has received a stake in the Premier League outfit.

According to LRMR chief executive Maverick Carter, the idea is to build James' worldwide portfolio by acquiring equity in global firms.

James is one of the biggest basketball stars in the United States and caused controversy when he moved from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Heat in July 2010, revealing the news on a television special.

Liverpool is one of the most important clubs .. and I am excited to be affiliated with this incredible organization
--LeBron James
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"The first time I stepped on an NBA court I became a businessman. This is a great opportunity for me," James was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.

In an FSM statement he added: "I am thrilled to be working with John Henry and Tom Werner. These guys, like me, have a passion for sports.

"You can see the drive and commitment they have for their teams. For me, this is about being in business with an organization that loves sports as much as I do.

"Liverpool is one of the most important clubs in all of sports, and I am excited to be affiliated with this incredible organization."

Referring to Liverpool's English title haul he added: ''Eighteen championships. I see myself trying to do the same things they have."

Tom Werner, chairman of FSG and Liverpool, told the Wall Street Journal: "We're not interested in talent or athlete representation but we think he is one of the most remarkable athletes of his time.

"We believe we can open doors for LeBron and LeBron can open doors for us. Without purchasing Liverpool, we never would have been able to have this conversation.''

He added in an FSM statement: "We are very excited that LeBron will be part of the Liverpool FC family.

"LeBron and Liverpool each has a powerful presence internationally, with particular strength in Asia, but we feel the business opportunities for both working and being identified together in emerging international markets will result in unforeseen opportunities that neither would have been able to realize alone."