LeBron James has become one of the most popular sports figures across the globe throughout nearly the last two decades. James has pushed his way toward becoming the face of the NBA over the last several years. The LA Lakers star has now had to use that popularity in the legal realm to shut down a trademark attempt by Miami Heat owner Micky Arison.
LeBron James’ NBA legacy
Before entering the NBA, there was much buzz around LeBron James becoming the next great generational talent.
James has far exceeded those expectations as he’s become one of the best players in league history. Through his first 17 seasons, he has put together a strong argument in the GOAT conversation. He has numerous records to his resume with four NBA titles, four NBA Finals MVP awards, four regular-season MVP honors, 16 All-Star game selections, and 13 All-NBA First Team nods.
James is also the first player to secure Finals MVP honors with three different franchises. He is also the only player in the top five of the all-time points list and inside the top 10 in all-time assists. All that has helped him become one of the most famous public figures in the United States, which has recently seen him use that notion in legal action.
LeBron James shuts down legal battle over “King James” moniker
Throughout much of his NBA career, LeBron James has maintained a heavy association with the “King James” nickname.
The 35-year-old has had his brand stay in strong connection with that as he has utilized a crown in his logo. His social media account handles also have that wording. Things took an intriguing turn as Carnival Corp., the cruise company owned by Miami Heat owner Micky Arison, attempted to trademark the term in August 2019.
The company had a 15-month legal battle for that name but came to a complete halt after James decided to file in opposition to the trademark claim on Nov. 18. It didn’t take long for Carnival’s legal team to pull the application permanently to avoid any lingering issues with James’ team, according to Yahoo Sports.
Although there may have been a strong desire to get the name, it would have been a significant uphill battle to contest the four-time NBA champion in court. Carnival Corp. could have had a hard time making a strong case that King James, the former British Monarch, is more famous than LeBron James in the United States.
The company did earn the trademark in the United Kingdom last January without much issue. The entire situation could have headed south in a hurry for Micky Arison and James in any legal proceedings over the desired moniker.
Brand continues to grow larger
Since entering the NBA, LeBron James’ brand has continued to take off to greater heights.
James has become the face of the league that has helped him earn numerous endorsement deals over the years. He has evolved beyond a household name as he continues to expand in other areas off the court through his business associations. The 35-year-old has endorsement deals with Coca-Cola, Beats by Dre, Nike, Blaze Pizza, and 2K Sports.
Things will continue to head in an upward direction with a strong affiliation with the “King James” moniker for many years ahead. If the legal situation with Micky Arison’s Carnival Corp. didn’t make it clear enough, it will be quite challenging to move him off that name in his business ventures.
James has become an extremely wise businessman that will only grow his brand well past his NBA career. Things will inevitably lead to ownership of a franchise and much more after his playing days. There are many more chapters to his book, well beyond his illustrious basketball career.