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SBD/November 2, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
King's Ransom: LeBron's Marketing Portfolio Booming As He Aims For Billion-Dollar Mark
Published November 2, 2012
LET’S MAKE A DEAL: Unlike many athletes, James “made it clear early on that he prefers equity deals, not just endorsements.” James' partnership with Fenway Sports Group that gave him a minority ownership stake in EPL club Liverpool is "one of his most heralded deals." His business ventures “include a partnership with American Signature furniture and Beats by Dr. Dre, plus an ownership stake in Cannondale bikes.” James also is “an investor in two local start-ups: PureBrands, the Boca Raton company that launched Sheets energy strips, and UNKNWN, a lifestyle store in Aventura Mall launched by some of his old Cleveland buddies.” As a “leader in social media and an icon to fans, all it takes is a tweet from James to send an item flying off the shelves at UNKNWN.” With more than six million followers on Twitter and “more than 12 million likes on Facebook, James has an impressive reach.” Those figures are “why Carmex lip balm signed a partnership deal with James’ personal website.” Industry experts agree that James and others “are leading the way in these new business paradigms, much the same way Michael Jordan created the roadmap for athletes in business” (MIAMI HERALD, 11/2).
IS IT IN YOU? In West Palm Beach, Ethan Skolnick noted a reporter told LeBron “he should have sipped some Gatorade” after missing the last nine minutes of the Tuesday night's Celtics-Heat game due to cramps. But James reminded the reporter that "he’s not a Gatorade guy.” James endorses Powerade while his teammate, Heat G Dwyane Wade is “one of Gatorade’s leading endorsers.” Wade said, “That’s why he’s cramping. He needs some Gatorade. We got electrolytes and all that now” (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 10/31).