SBD/Issue 198/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

King Of The World: LeBron James Looks To Go Global

LRMR Marketing Hoping To Put
LeBron Brand In Global Spotlight

Cavaliers F LeBron James’ new marketing company, LRMR Marketing, passed out materials and several black Nike “Witness” T-shirts at its first annual sponsor summit in Akron this week setting August 8, 2008, as the “target date” to turn James “into the next Pele or Muhammad Ali, athletes who transcended their respective sports on a global stage,” according to Rich Thomaselli of AD AGE. James’ agent, Maverick Carter, said, “We have an opportunity here. But it’s not something that we want to rush. We have to have a plan.” James told the sponsors, “As we’re building our relationships, I don’t look at it as endorsement deals. Maybe I did when I was younger. Now that I’m trying to form a business company, I look at you guys as partners.” Thomaselli noted Carter “seemed most impressed” by a plan called “Go Inside,” which would be the “lynchpin of a social responsibility effort that’s already started” by James and his James Family Foundation. The marketers “compared the ‘Go Inside’ plan to Lance Armstrong’s ‘Livestrong’ message and its yellow bracelets, going so far as to say they would like to see the ‘Go Inside’ message printed on Nike sweatbands that Mr. James wears during games” (ADAGE.com, 7/11).

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