Now that we have all begun to cope with the horrors of LeBron James leaving Cleveland, I thought I should do some deep introspection to see exactly what this change will mean for my business. As a small business owner, I am well aware that macroeconomic decisions will affect my business. The healthcare bill in Washington will either save me thousands in insurance cost or it will cost me a fortune (depending on which pundit I’m listening to.) I know that the value of the Yen could negatively change the cost of goods that I import from Japan. Not that I import from Japan, but I might. Maybe. Someday.
But this LeBron thing? It must be important to me or the media wouldn’t have spent weeks dwelling on it, right? So I have done a little of what a business associate calls “farm boy math” to see what it means to me.
There are currently 30 NBA teams and each team suits up 15 players. Add in a bunch of trainers and managers and overpaid owners; let’s assume each team has 50 on the payroll. That’s 1,500 people. Now just to be generous, let’s say that each venue where the teams play employees another 200 people. If each of those 7,500 people is part of the average family of 3.14, now we’re talking about 23,550 who will directly be impacted by King James.
There are about 309 Million people in the US, so if we look at this a little closer, this should really matter to only 0.00762% of the US population. The oil spill in the gulf is devastating the fishing and hospitality industries of five states. The war in Afghanistan is now the longest running war in US history and it continues to be more and more deadly.
Closer to home, Sioux City, just 75 miles away recently lost two major employers, totaling almost two thousand jobs in a community of about 85,000. That’s about 2% of all the people and 7% of the families. That is big news, but it gets little press.
I do business in Sioux City everyday. I have clients that stand to lose significant revenue from the loss of jobs in that market. That means I stand lose revenue. I’ve been to the Gulf Coast. I have eaten fresh Gulf oysters and shrimp po’boys and collected cheap plastic beads on Bourbon Street. I have friends and relatives who serve in the military and have spent time in Afghanistan. Those things impact my life and my business. Unless LeBron James decides he needs a small ad agency in South Dakota to help sell his merchandise, he will never change my life.
So what does LeBron James mean to you? Unless you sell Cleveland Cavaliers jerseys, nothing.
- Jim Mathis