Good news for entrepreneurs with a product or service to promote. LeBron James could provide an endorsement on Twitter. Well, maybe. Actually, probably not. But there is a slight chance. As might be expected, however, it’s rather expensive.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, a company called Opendorse — which creates digital and social media endorsement campaigns for athletes — says a tweet from James is worth roughly $165,000 in terms of “media value.” The Cleveland Cavaliers star has nearly 28 million followers on Twitter, so if he’s endorsing your product, that message is going out to a huge audience. No other U.S. athlete has a higher value on social media, according to the company.

Still, that’s more than $1,000 per character.

“It would cost you five times more to reach that many people with a TV ad,” Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence told Rovell last year.

Opendorse reaches those values by determining an athlete or celebrity’s reach on social media — through a post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram — based on how active that particular figure is, cultural impact on and off the court, and how engaged his or her followers are online. So how many among LeBron’s 29 million followers are likely to buy or check out whatever product he endorses?

But most companies interested in a Twitter endorsement from a high-profile star like LeBron James aren’t paying $165,000 for the privilege. According to Lawrence, the majority of businesses pay between $1,000 and $2,500 for a single tweet. The most Opendorse has sold one tweet for is $20,000, which happened during the 2014 NFL playoffs.

LeBron and his people are apparently rather choosy, however, and don’t just tweet anything for the right price. Lawrence told Rovell that Team LeBron has passed on one-tweet, six-figure deals in the recent past.

As of last year, the most expensive athlete endorsements on Twitter after James were Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Floyd Mayweather and Dwight Howard. And the gap between No. 1 and No. 2 on that list is a wide one. Judging from Rovell’s tweet above, those rankings still apply and the costs have only gotten higher.


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is an editor for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He has covered baseball for Yahoo! Sports,, Bleacher Report and SB Nation, and provides analysis for several sports talk radio shows each week. He currently lives in Asheville, NC.