The Benefits of LBJ’s Homecoming

There was a lot of talk about how the economy of Cleveland would boom with The Homecoming  of the best basketball player of our generation. Business Insider reports that that hasn’t happened yet and may not happen at all (Why LeBron James’ alleged $500 million impact on the Cleveland economy is mostly bunk). Still, the fact that LBJ has a discernible multiplier effect on the Cleveland economy is remarkable.


Photo credit: ESPN

If we were to truly measure Lebron’s impact then, his stats will look something like this:

LeBron James Complete NBA 2014-15 Stats

  • Games played – 82
  • Field goals – 26 points
  • Rebounds – 6
  • Steals – 1.4
  • Assists – 8
  • Jobs created – 192
  • Taxes generated –  $ 14.98 million
  • Capital investments committed – $ 110 million

Another homecoming that happened this month is Kevin Garnett’s and his impact will also most likely extend beyond 94×50 feet of the Target Center court. When the news was first announced, Timberwolves ticket sales reportedly jumped 794% and Ticket King for Wolves ticket sales had its busiest day in 10 years!

I guess the challenge for accountants in the new millennium is how to value “intangible” assets such as TALENT in all shapes and forms. Jobs created, taxes paid, etc. are all measurable – so we have a starting point for measurement.

There are lessons for the Philippine Basketball Association too. If the PBA allows more global talent in, can we see the same sort of economic multiplier?  The drivers of the Philippine economy will then be OFW remittances,  outsourcing and offshoring, tourism … and basketball!


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