LeBron James decided to partner with his friend Maverick Carter to build a firm to manage the commercial opportunities created from LeBron’s NBA career. Traditionally, this was handled by agents or professional firms, but LeBron and Maverick had bigger ambitions to build their own organization centered around their values. This interview will dive into the business empire LeBron and Maverick built and what challenges and setbacks they had to overcome to build one of the most valuable sports-driven businesses in the world.
In this podcast, you’ll learn about:
- Maverick’s vision and mission for the LeBron James Empire
- How Lebron decided to stop working with his agent and pick Maverick to manage Lebron’s media interests
- The story about Beats By Dre and how Maverick developed relationships with pro athletes to market the product
- The value of owning a piece of an enterprise
- “How to build hustle into an actual business and not cut corners.”
As what Jay Williams said about this interview, you’re in it for a “master class!”
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(01:04): Introduction and welcome to Maverick Carter.
(05:23): How and when did your perspective about sports and athlete business change?
(06:51): How did you navigate the sensitivity of the relationship with LeBron’s family to be in a position to architect what the future of the business would become?
(09:01): How did you get to the point of a 20 year old being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, having a Nike deal right out of high school; what was the vision initially?
(10:57): How do you handle stereotypes and state your view on the persons in the industry that do backdoor cuts?
(12:39): How did you navigate fake news in the industry, and also how did you communicate and manage this with LeBron?
(14:51): How did you handle Phil Jackson’s ‘Posse Comment’ and other people’s view of you? How were you able to counter that?
(20:14): Can you provide us in context and explain how the partnership deal with Beats by Dre materialized?
(21:47): How did you decide that you wanted more equity than a traditional sponsorship deal?
(22:59): Have you always felt a sense of belonging in these rooms with big business moguls?
(24:0): How did you get your name, Maverick?
(25:08): Why are you more prepared to take more risks than others?
(26:14): Why is it that you prefer the side-lines and not making yourself the centre of attention?
(26:42): How do you balance LeBron’s James entity being the focal point, given the fact that your personal story is also inspirational?
(29:20): How easy is it for you to take the back seat and allow your clients to act human, be themselves and paint their own narrative?
(30:04): How do you navigate building your own narrative especially in cases where there are disagreements?
(31:32): Give an example of good discourse between LeBron and yourself.
(32:13): Why did you not agree with the decision of going back to Cleveland?
(32:48): What has been your biggest moment of growth thus far in your career?
(34:26): What’s the endgame for Maverick Carter after such successful deals for SpringHill?
(35:37): Salutations for showing younger persons how to push themselves to the limit, how to build their hustle into actual business and not cut corners.