LeBron James has made a lot of history on the court during his phenomenal decade-plus in the NBA, with three titles and four MVPs leading a list of accolades too long to rattle off right here.
Now, LeBron is also making history off the court, as Blaze Pizza, which LeBron is heavily involved in, has become the fastest growing fast food company in the history of the United States. Via Forbes.com:
Blaze opens its 200th restaurant today in Mentor, Ohio. Going from two to 200 franchises in four years is the fastest start in the history of the U.S. food service business, the industry consultancy Technomic confirms.
Today, LeBron James is all-in on Blaze as an investor, franchisee and paid endorser of the company. "LeBron helps us punch in terms of our brand awareness well above our weight," says Blaze Pizza CEO Jim Mizes. Witness a recent Harris Poll where Blaze finished second among the best pizza chain brands, behind Papa John's and ahead of Pizza Hut, which has more than 7,000 locations in the U.S.
Blaze is the company LeBron is most involved in, but of course he also has endorsements from numerous other brands, all of which have helped him become one of the richest athletes in the world.
James ranked second in Forbes' recent look at the world's highest-paid athletes with $86.2 million between June 2016 and June 2017. In addition to his $31.2 million salary, James banked $55 million off the court from endorsements with Nike, Coca-Cola, Intel, Verizon, Kia Motors and Beats, as well as his business interests in Blaze, Uninterrupted and his production company, SpringHill Entertainment.
The "kid from Akron" has certainly come a long way.