SBD/Issue 184/Franchises

Heat Unveil New Billboard As Part Of "We Want Wade" Campaign

Heat Erects "We Want Wade" Billboard
Near Wade's Neighborhood In South Florida

The Heat took their "We Want Wade" campaign to "new heights Monday when the team unveiled a billboard designed as a contract near Wade's neighborhood" in South Florida, according to Michael Wallace of the MIAMI HERALD. The billboard along the 79th Street Causeway is "just a few miles from Wade's North Bay Village home, and is one he is likely to pass often." The ad features an "enlarged portion of a contract with the dotted line left blank." Wade's name "appears directly underneath the line." The Heat are "calling it the 'Sign Here' billboard." Should Wade re-sign with the Heat, team officials "will try to get him to also sign the billboard." The ad is the "latest phase of recruiting" the Heat plan to continue until Wade signs. The team last month launched its WeWantWade.com website, which has "received significant traffic" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/8).

NEW YORK CALLING: In N.Y., Clyde Haberman notes the city has "put muscle into a campaign to lure LeBron James," who will become a free agent on July 1. For the campaign, dubbed "C'mon LeBron," N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and "other prominent New Yorkers have turned themselves into mendicants, all but getting down on one knee to beg" James to "abandon his home state" and sign with the Knicks or Nets. Haberman writes in "one sense, the supplicant impulse is understandable," as the Knicks and Nets are "painful embarrassments." But the "strenuous effort being poured into 'C'mon LeBron' raises a question." If "so much energy can be expended on a basketball player, why can't the same be done in a range of endeavors, including some that are of far greater interest to many New Yorkers?" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/8). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay writes of "C'mon LeBron," "That's it? That's the best slogan the world's greatest city can manage?" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/8). On Long Island, Neil Best writes the "off-court wild card is that New York offers intangibles that could sway a man who has said he wants to be a 'global icon'" (NEWSDAY, 6/8).

FREE TO DECIDE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Everson & Biderman note there has been talk of a meeting among big-name NBA free agents to discuss their offseason decisions, and there is "nothing that would make such a meeting illegal." Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh said, "They have the right to talk, so it's fine with me. ... What they want to do is see if and where spots are going to open. They're trying to make sure they're not getting in each other's ways." Everson & Biderman note a "star player could delay signing with a team until it promised to bring another pricey player aboard." UCLA's Anderson School of Management professor Daniel Mitchell said, "If you can organize yourself, and if the other side isn't organized, whoever is in that position has the greatest bargaining power and determines outcomes." This year a handful of free agents "can really cash in, both in terms of compensation and in concocting just the kind of work environment they desire" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/8).

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