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SBD/July 2, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
Can LeBron James Touch Michael Jordan's Mantle As NBA Endorsement King?
Published July 2, 2013
DEARTH OF SPOTS: ESPN's Darren Rovell said Nike "knows that dwelling on those who won't ever forgive him for 'The Decision' means giving up those that are the fans of the greatness of LeBron." The company this year released more than 20 different versions of his LeBron X signature shoe, "most of which sold out." Rovell: "The rest of his endorsement portfolio, reportedly worth more than $40 million annually, has been strangely quiet. … James has plenty of deals with blue-chip brands, including Samsung, Coca-Cola, State Farm and McDonald's. But they haven't used James recently in TV campaigns. A deal with McDonald's hasn't produced any TV advertising since ... the fall of 2011. What is hard to understand is this: How was it that the only company running a commercial featuring James in the playoffs was this one by Beats By Dre?" Rovell noted that James' second NBA title "should put pressure on his current sponsors to use him more and it gives a greater sense of urgency for those companies sitting on the sidelines" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 7/1).