Tuesday, July 7, 2009

LeBron's Summer Business: Attending the Exclusive Allen & Co. Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 9:59 AM

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It's okay if you've never heard of the Allen & Co. conference before. Unless you're a media hound or have a couple billion dollars lying around, there's no reason you would know. Also, it's more than just a little bit secretive, according to the LA Times story: "Like "Fight Club," the first rule of the Allen & Co. conference is that you don't talk about the Allen & Co. conference. The event is closed to the press, and attendees are discouraged from acknowledging whether they're attending."

So, what is it?

Basically, a "summer camp for billionaires" where they discuss the future path and influence of the media. Among the luminaries expected this year: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Sumner Redstone, Mark Zuckerberg, Thomas Friedman, Owen Van Natta (CEO of MySpace), and all four major sports commissioners, among many other powerbrokers whose names you might not recognize but could easily buy and sell you.

And then, LeBron James, who hasn't been shy about his desire to build a business empire and become a billionaire himself. What with his recent movie, his endorsements, his game on the court, a TV show still supposedly in the works, and his own company, LeBron's demonstrated his business acumen and made friends with the likes of Warren Buffet already, so Sun Valley and this exclusive conference is a natural destination for the King.

It's one thing to use your celebrity to gain access to other celebrities and influential people. It's another thing completely when you seem to take it as seriously as LeBron does, especially when those genius and powerful people around you seek out and respect your opinion.

And, if you wonder what a bunch of the richest men and women do in the middle of Idaho, the LA Times has your answer:

"In between rafting, knitting, yoga, chess and bridge (Buffett and Gates are big bridge players), big deals are known to have been hatched during the conference's 26-year history."

Yes, rafting, knitting, yoga, chess and bridge. How very civilized.

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