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Commercial Success?

by Jared Boggs (writer), San Antonio, October 27, 2010

Credit: Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images North America
LeBron James
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LeBron James continues his campaign to reenter the good graces of public opinion.

The NBA season is set to kick off tonight with two games on TNT. While I look forward to seeing the new look Heat and defending champion Lakers in their respective match ups, what I am not looking forward to is the new LeBron James Nike commercial that will surely be shown ad nauseum.

The commercial is nothing but another ploy for James to get sympathy and help is image. Nike marketing at its finest. During the 1:30 spot, James repeatedly asks "what should I do?" It's supposed to be a response to all the critics and boils down to LeBron essentially saying he is his own man and makes his own decisions and we shouldn't judge.

It's practically insulting and another example that the King just doesn't get it. All offseason people, including me, ripped him for leaving Cleveland and deciding to play second fiddle to Dwayne Wade. But even bigger than that was the way he made the decision. The hour long look at me show will forever go down as one of the most perplexing events ever. He spent one hour talking with his hand picked interviewer about himself and how excited he is to play in Miami. Never once mentioning his team mates in Cleveland or that he is sorry he couldn't get it done. In fact that's all he has ever had to do, apologize. The anger and disappointment from Cleveland fans would still be there, but better to face it rather than ignore it and hope it blows over.
What's funny is that in the grand scheme of things, what he did really wasn't that bad. He was a free agent who manipulated his way to a better situation. Sure it may be a weak move, but it's not illegal. Other athletes have broken the law, served jail time, and come back to play again. They apologize, act remorseful and go on with their career. James does neither of those. Instead he told Cleveland to get over it. Instead he retweeted hateful messages he received in order to show us how difficult his life has been since taking his talents to South Beach.

For a guy making millions of dollars to play basketball in Miami, its difficult to have sympathy for him. What we want to see is the best basketball player in the world act humble. How hard is it to apologize to all the Cleveland fans who were loyal to you for all those years and say you wish you had handled your departure from the Cavs with a little more class? I'm no PR guy but I think that alone might help out with some of the animosity coming his way.

Countless articles have been written about LeBron's offseason misadventures. I've mentioned this before, but how silly is it that we dissect James' psyche and motivations rather than his game. I had hoped that tip off is only a few hours away we could focus on the basketball aspect of LeBron James and the Heat, but as evident with this new commercial we are all about to get subjected to, the King is not ready to let this issue go.The NBA season is set to kick off tonight with two games on TNT. While I look forward to seeing the new look Heat and defending champion Lakers in their respective match ups, what I am not looking forward to is the new LeBron James Nike commercial that will surely be shown ad nauseum.

The commercial is nothing but another ploy for James to get sympathy and help is image. Nike marketing at its finest. During the 1:30 spot, James repeatedly asks "what should I do?" It's supposed to be a response to all the critics and boils down to LeBron essentially saying he is his own man and makes his own decisions and we shouldn't judge.

It's practically insulting and another example that the King just doesn't get it. All offseason people, including me, ripped him for leaving Cleveland and deciding to play second fiddle to Dwayne Wade. But even bigger than that was the way he made the decision. The hour long look at me show will forever go down as one of the most perplexing events ever. He spent one hour talking with his hand picked interviewer about himself and how excited he is to play in Miami. Never once mentioning his team mates in Cleveland or that he is sorry he couldn't get it done. In fact that's all he has ever had to do, apologize. The anger and disappointment from Cleveland fans would still be there, but better to face it rather than ignore it and hope it blows over.


What's funny is that in the grand scheme of things, what he did really wasn't that bad. He was a free agent who manipulated his way to a better situation. Sure it may be a weak move, but it's not illegal. Other athletes have broken the law, served jail time, and come back to play again. They apologize, act remorseful and go on with their career. James does neither of those. Instead he told Cleveland to get over it. Instead he retweeted hateful messages he received in order to show us how difficult his life has been since taking his talents to South Beach.

For a guy making millions of dollars to play basketball in Miami, its difficult to have sympathy for him. What we want to see is the best basketball player in the world act humble. How hard is it to apologize to all the Cleveland fans who were loyal to you for all those years and say you wish you had handled your departure from the Cavs with a little more class? I'm no PR guy but I think that alone might help out with some of the animosity coming his way.
Countless articles have been written about LeBron's offseason misadventures. I've mentioned this before, but how silly is it that we dissect James' psyche and motivations rather than his game. I had hoped that tip off is only a few hours away we could focus on the basketball aspect of LeBron James and the Heat, but as evident with this new commercial we are all about to get subjected to, the King is not ready to let this issue go.



About the Writer

Jared Boggs is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on Commercial Success?

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By BusinessLife on October 27, 2010 at 07:09 am

This was a nice article to read. I may be in the minority as I say that I have no problem with LeBron's decision to head to Miami. I don't think he owes Cleveland an apology. He played many seasons there and gave his very best. As a free agent, LeBron, just like other free agents have the right to review their options.

The hour-long decision show was a very obvious PR/marketing move. It was a clever PR/marketing move. It received a high rating. However, this doesn't mean that all viewers had to feel happy about LeBron's decision to leave Cleveland. And sometimes even a disliked PR decision can bring value. I don't think I would have recommended the show. I felt it was over the top and unnecessary. But looking at marketing as it is meant to be used, it was a smart success.

Smart successes don't always have to be the right ones.

That said, I happen to disagree with your point about comparing Lebron's need to apologize, to athletes who have faced jail time as is copied and shown here verbatim below:

"Other athletes have broken the law, served jail time, and come back to play again. They apologize, act remorseful and go on with their career. James does neither of those."

LeBron James got together with a couple of friends and decided to try something new. He decided to get together with these two other guys and play together and not against each other. It's fun to play with people you really like and respect. And all three have a right to do this.

LeBron didn't ask me how I felt because I'm not in his immediately family or circle of friends. And when I make decisions about my life that are, at my level, extremely important, I won't be contacting LeBron James.

So, I look forward to see if this new science experiment of three great basketball players on the same team, who happen to good buddies playing together, works out.

It's LeBron's decision. It's LeBron's life. Should someone examine my life and my decisions as closely as his, I'm sure I would have people who supported me and people who wouldn't.

I am not a national name, brand, nor do I make his salary. So, my decisions blend in with most of the world. I don't have 'hate mail' and people burning my former team's jersey because I moved from one team, or in my case company to another.

He has his own life and doesn't owe me or my family anything. And if I don't like what he has done or what I think he represents, because, in truth none of us really know him except his family and close friends, then I can follow another NBA team and cheer for all teams the Miami Heat play.

What should LeBron Do? Have faith, hope and love in everything he does.

Live through the insults, play basketball and spend time with your family and friends.

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By Deborah Horton on October 29, 2010 at 04:07 pm

Michelle Beadle on SportsNation did a hilarious parody of this commercial....it was so funny. LeBron did what anyone with a brain in his position would and should do. Is he likable? I think that's up to each person to decide if they like someone or not...just because you're a superstar doesn't mean everybody loves you automatically - just ask Favre....

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