Document Type



Every industry has superstars. Whether it’s the entertainment industry, the music industry, or the sports industry, superstars are everywhere. Sports are perhaps where we most commonly see and pay superstar athletes the most. Some athletes drive fans to come and flood the area near the arena. These “superstar” athletes cause a buzz and can bring in more and more fans to spend money both inside and outside the arena. In this paper using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies we research NBA superstar LeBron James and his possible impact on the franchises he plays for in the cities he has played in throughout his career. Through analysis of three factors we will be able to bring together multiple statistics to see whether bringing in a superstar to a franchise is actually worth all the money they cost. These three factors include the performance of the team, impact on attendance, and franchise valuation. The amount of research on the area of a superstar’s effect on both private organizations (the sports franchise) and municipalities (should the cities help finance moves for superstars) is very small and understudied. Through this research, a new viewpoint of a superstar’s impact will be formed. Over LeBron’s 11-year career and his journey to three different cities there is plenty of data available to determine if having a superstar player in your franchise is really worth it.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Todd Harris, Thesis Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Ferris-Costa, Committee Member

Dr. Jakari Griffith, Committee Member

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.