LeBron James has added another feather to his endorsement cap. He will now be the brand ambassador for Mountain Dew Rise Energy – a PepsiCo product.
James was a long-time endorser of CocaCola, from back when he was an 18-year-old rookie. However, talks for a new contract with Pepsi’s competitors broke down in early January and LeBron became a ‘free agent’ of sorts.
It didn’t take long for rumors of PepsiCo to sprout, linking the second biggest F&B company in the world to the GOAT candidate. After a few days of deliberation, Pepsi announced their new signing this week.
News: LeBron James has officially signed a deal with Pepsi that sees him leave Coke after 18 years.
James will be the face of the soda giant’s new MTN DEW RISE energy drink. pic.twitter.com/xAmYbgredl
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) March 17, 2021
How marketable is LeBron James compared to athletes of other sports?
Football, or soccer as Americans call it, is by far the most popular sport in the world. Naturally, the best footballers have a lot more visibility than players of most American sports worldwide.
However, LeBron James is unlike most NBA players. With an 18-year legacy behind his belt, James is now a marketing phenomenon unto himself. He’s by far the most-recognized American team sports athlete in the world today.
James has a pull that transcends the game, although he might still not be in Kobe Bryant territory in many parts of the world. He ranks No. 3 on the list of the “world’s 50 most marketable athletes” compiled late last year by Nielsen, trailing only international soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
LeBron was previously also a brand ambassador for McDonald’s. But he gave up that endorsement to be able to invest in Blaze Pizzas – a decision that has paid dividends galore for him. James’ stake in the pizza chain is now worth over 35 times his initial investment.
PepsiCo will doubtless be paying a hefty fee for the services of the Lakers star. You should keep in mind that LeBron is