“I know I have the talent to entertain,” Usher told FORBES in 2005, shortly after acquiring part of the team. “Now I just want to be a great businessman.”
Part of that plan, it seems, was doing his part to help convince LeBron to return to Cleveland. In the wee hours of Thursday, July 10th (the day before King James reclaimed his throne), Usher mounted a Twitter campaign urging the superstar to come back, comparing him to the likes of Barack Obama, Mario Lemieux and Steve Jobs.
A little more than 24 hours later, LeBron announced his plans.
“In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given,” he wrote in a statement. “Everything is earned. You work for what you have. I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.”
The move will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Usher’s bottom line, though the precise amount is somewhat murky.
Back in 2005, FORBES estimated that Usher paid $9 million for his Cavs stake around the time Dan Gilbert acquired the team for $375 million. It was unclear how much of that sum went directly toward equity and how much was dedicated to assuming part of the team’s existing debt.
Gilbert has also been steadily increasing his own interest in the team since then–up from 62% to 72% in recent years–and Usher’s percentage may have decreased along the way. A spokesperson from the Cavaliers wouldn’t comment on the nature of the singer’s holdings.
As my colleague Mike Ozanian reported, LeBron’s return boosted the value of the team by at least $100 million, or roughly 20% from a recent $515 million to over $600 million. If Usher’s stake currently stands at 1%, that means the move bumped its value by $1 million overnight, a little less than Usher grosses per night on the road.
Though Usher’s stake may well be even less than that by now, it’s safe to say he’s got a few more reasons than most to be among those overjoyed by LeBron’s return to Cleveland.
source: forbes.com by Zack O'Malley Greenburg