LeBron James Investment Blaze Pizza off to Fastest-Ever Start for Food Chain

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James warms up before Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

LeBron James is a man of many business ventures, one of which is paying huge dividends for the four-time NBA MVP. 

Per Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen, Blaze Pizza has become the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the United States with its 200th franchise opening Tuesday and James on board as an investor, franchisee and endorser for the company.

"LeBron helps us punch in terms of our brand awareness well above our weight," Blaze Pizza CEO Jim Mizes told Badenhausen.

Blaze Pizza was founded in 2011 by Elise and Rick Wetzel with the concept being a create-your-own pizza made while customers wait.

Badenhausen noted James became an investor in Blaze Pizza in 2012 when film producer John Davis recruited him as part of a group that now owns one-third of the company, with James accounting for nearly 10 percent of the company's worth.

James has become active in a few areas away from the basketball court. He was a co-star in the 2015 movie Trainwreck and has hosted Saturday Night Live, in addition to having endorsement deals with Nike, Coca-Cola and Verizon, among others.