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Will LeBron James Make Your Child Want to Play Soccer?

By John Cave Osborne |

Will LeBron make your kids wanna play soccer?

Soccer is one of the best sport possible for a young child to play. Its concept is simple—two sets of kids chasing a ball which they can only touch with their feet as they attempt to kick it in a goal—is undoubtedly one of the reasons why it’s the first sport many children formally play. And the skill sets soccer helps children develop, skills like speed, agility, quickness, endurance, balance, which are easily transferrable to other sports, make it even more attractive.

Yet despite all that, soccer has never really caught on here in America. Is LeBron James about to change all that?

The rest of the world goes ga-ga over soccer. Globally speaking, the World Cup is arguably bigger than the Olympics. Yet here in good ol’ US of A, we barely even notice the sport. At least once our kids stop playing. And thanks to the fact that soccer has barely even made a dent in our pop culture, many are hanging up the shin guards earlier than ever before as they move on to more “mainstream” sports such as football, baseball or basketball.

But yesterday came news that might change all of that. LeBron James has partnered up with Fenway Sports Group. FSG, which owns the Boston Red Sox, will join forces with LeBron’s sport-marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing. According to the Wall Street Journal, they will “become the exclusive world-wide representative for Mr. James.”

FSG will undoubtedly benefit from this association as they will earn a “small commission” for deals they help James land. But what about LeBron? What does he get?

FSG has offered the basketball superstar a minority share of the Liverpool soccer club, one of the most prominent soccer organizations on the planet.

“Mr. James said he was ‘humbled’ by the deal and looked forward to donning a red Liverpool jersey and visiting Anfield, the team’s legendary stadium.”

And when he dawns that red jersey, it will no doubt be projected from television screens everywhere. Seeing LeBron rock the Liverpool FC colors just might be enough to get more kids interested in the soccer. Especially if Liverpool has a good season and compels LeBron to take more than just a business interest in his new team.

And odds are that they may, indeed, have a good season. All told, they’ve won 18 championships which is the most among English teams.

“Eighteen championships,” LeBron James said of his new international, equity-based asset. “I see myself trying to do the same things they have.”

Um, LeBron, you’ve not even won a championship yet, so you may wanna check that kind of talk. But don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll win one.

But even if you don’t, if your involvement in soccer encourages more and more kids to stick with it for longer, then you’ll be a winner, indeed. At least in my book. Because soccer’s a great sport that could and should become more mainstream in the United States.

And I’m hoping that an endorsement from one of our most famous athletes will help it become just that.

Image: Wikipedia

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About John Cave Osborne


John Cave Osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Babble, TLC, YahooShine, and the Huffington Post. John went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months after marrying a single mom, then quickly conceived triplets. Since then, they have added one more to the mix, a little boy they named Grand Finale. Read bio and latest posts → Read John's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Will LeBron James Make Your Child Want to Play Soccer?

  1. goddess says:

    Cannot abide LeCon. As a born-in-Clevelander, I didn’t like him out of high school, don’t like him now and LOVE that the Cavs beat the Heat last week!
    I’ve never understood the adulation afforded these sports celebs. IT turned my stomach to hear him referred to as “King James”. Hello? Need a lesson on the American Revolution much? I still bow to NO man- or woman. Least of all a churlish thug like him.

    1. John Cave Osborne says:

      @goddess—”the decision” made me hurl. he’s clearly self-smitten and misinterprets his importance in the grand scheme of things. easy to understand why w/ (as you mentioned) king james and all the benjamins being thrown at him since high school. the fact that he had all that on his shoulders and actually lived up to his expectations was pretty impressive to me. but don’t get me wrong, he comes w/ a big grain of salt in my book.

      that said, despite his ego, he’s not without some merit. as hurl-inducing and self aggrandizing as “the decision” was, at least he donated the $ to charity. and i really am hoping that he’ll somehow help give soccer a little boost. but i’m doubtful that he will. i mean beckham comes over here and we’re (arguably) more into his wife than him! good to hear from you, @goddess.

  2. Kelly says:

    Gross!! I certainly hope not!

  3. Rosana says:

    Love to watch soccer but football is boring. Americans do not need to like soccer, the rest of the world already does :)

    1. John Cave Osborne says:

      @Rosana—i know, but i want americans to like soccer! plus, i want more of our kids to play it longer and longer. it seems like it’s a mere stepping stone and it’s too great of a sport for it to be just that. like my daughter…she’s 9 and she was totally into soccer when she was 4 and 5. but now she doesn’t think it’s “cool.” i wish she did b/c she’s really good and the sport is a beautiful one! i think if our pop culture were more enamored with it, she would be, too!

  4. goddess says:

    You should live in my neck-o-the woods. We have more Croatians than anywhere outside of Croatia. needless to say, Soccer is a religion in my town!

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