Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lebron James - good guy? or good pr ?

Lebron James has the sports world on edge as he makes his announcement tonight on where he will end up next season. If you're not a sports fan this is inconsequential to you. However, as an ad practitioner you'll appreciate his deft ability at PR. He has given the announcement exclusive coverage on ESPN this evening. Commercial revenue from the ESPN special program -- which is being called "The Decision" -- will be donated to Boys & Girls Club of America, a charity that ESPN and Disney also support. The ESPN show will be "co-presented" by the University of Phoenix and Microsoft's Bing search engine, with Coca-Cola's VitaminWater and McDonald's also lending a sponsorship hand. Nike and Coca-Cola's Sprite are also making contributions.

Charitable tie ins are not new for Lebron. He treated 800 local residents, many of which were homeless families, to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Quicken Loans Arena. Following the dinner, which was complete with all the fixings, attendees were treated to a movie.

Perhaps he has a heart as big as Kansas. Or he has street smarts enough to realize the importance, and bankable edge that comes from positive spin.

I'm going to be an optimist and just assume he's just a nice guy. Why not. And even if it is just for spin, everybody wins anyway right?

Way to go Lebron.

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