LeBron James has about 23.2 million Twitter followers, a number that isn’t much of a shock. The folks over at Opendorse (cute name, by the way) look at that figure, though, and see nothing but dollar signs. That’s because the company is monetizing James’ account and making bank off of The King’s loyal subjects. And because stuff like this makes us want to pull our hair out, we’ll let Darren Rovell, ESPN.com’s Sports Business reporter, try and explain how it works:
Opendorse, a company that specializes in executing and monetizing digital and social media campaigns for athletes, says a tweet from James, who has 23.2 million followers, has the highest value of any U.S. athlete. Each tweet from James has a media value of $139,474, the company said.
“We’re basically saying that the value of one LeBron tweet is worth $140,000,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “And with that, you will reach 23 million people. It would cost you five times more to reach that many people with a TV ad.”
For those of you doing the math, your calculations are correct. That comes to about $1,000 per character. What Lawrence does is broker a deal between an athlete, and whichever company or individual wants to purchase a tweet on said athlete’s timeline to get exposure for their business or idea. Despite the enormous valuation for someone like LeBron James, Lawrence said the average deals range from about $1,000 to $2,500 for a single tweet.
That is, of course, only if the athlete is willing to participate. Lawrence said that LeBron — because he apparently still has a soul — turned down a recent six-figure offer.