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LeBron James Ditches McDonald's for a Fast-Casual Pizzeria

He'll now endorse Blaze Pizza.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

LeBron James is no longer lovin' it: The NBA star isn't renewing his endorsement contract with McDonald's, reports ESPN. Instead, the Trainwreck actor "will lend his name and marketing power to fast-casual pizza franchise Blaze," a Southern California-based company that he first invested in back in 2012.

James's deal with McDonald's was signed in 2010, and he's since starred in numerous ad campaigns for the McNugget slingers.

While no one will disclose exactly how big of a stake James has in Blaze Pizza, "a source told ESPN.com that he owns more than 10 percent of the company." Business Insider notes that Blaze "hopes to be as big as Starbucks one day," but it's got a long way to go: It currently has 88 locations, with plans to open 70 more this year and a total of 500 locations by 2020.

James's worldwide fame and social media prowess could certainly be a major boon for the budding pizza chain: As ESPN points out, "James is the second-most-followed athlete on Twitter in the world" with more than 24 million followers.

James isn't Blaze's only celebrity investor: Maria Shriver, journalist and wife to Arnold Schwarzenegger, also has a stake in the company. The rich and famous love to throw money at restaurants: Most recently, Drake opened a Toronto restaurant in conjunction with chef Susur Lee, and James's fellow pro athlete Tiger Woods dropped $8 million on a restaurant venture in Florida.

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