The LeBron James Effect

The LeBron James Effect

In 2010, LeBron James went from Cleveland to Miami. In the wake of his departure, the franchise saw a drop from $476 million to $355 million in a single year. Dan Gilbert took a hit as the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Gilbert is a billionaire, and a loss of a couple million doesn’t change that. However, within the microcosm of Cleveland there’s the Quicken Loans Arena, home to the Cavaliers. Within its radius are hundreds of small owned businesses and bars that thrived off of James’ presence and once he left, they were the ones who felt the chill left by James’ ghost.

Researchers found that LeBron James’ absence affected employment by 23.5% in the area, approximately 20 businesses were forced to shut down, and an annual revenue of $48 million was lost. The basketball player truly solidified his reputation when he later returned to Cleveland and its local economy boosted to $500 million.

What This Means for L.A. in Numbers

That was LeBron James in 2010. Today in 2019, he’s back to the Los Angeles Lakers and his syndrome has already began to pulse through L.A..

In broad terms, fifty of Los Angeles’ neighborhoods’ median income hits $90,000. Thus, more should be expected from James’ wealthier fanbase situated in those areas. Just last year, James’ Lakers jersey signing created a frenzy placing the day within the top 10 record breaking sales for the company. The jersey retailer, Fanatics, saw a 600 percent increase in sales within a mere three hours and noted how it commemorated the largest jersey sales ever for a player entering a new team.

Additionally, Lakers’ tickets have miraculously raised from as low as $60 to a starting price of $545 vis a vis LeBron James’ return. James’ presence alone is gold with the striking 800 percent increase. In terms of season tickets, James’ golden touch raised the $3,499 tickets to $5,800 within a mere twenty minutes of James’ commencement to the team.

He’s Not Done Yet

The LeBron Effect has only just begun and the city of L.A. is expecting to see his impact. When using the same methodology in LeBron’s impact analysis to Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, it’s estimated James will be harvesting 2,989 new jobs and a local economic impact worth $396 billion for the next five years.

The future of L.A. appears to be in LeBron James’ hands, so all L.A. based Lakers fans: sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride for now.

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