The sports world is huge. So many stories, so little time. World Cup fever is still raging, but now one player sits center stage: LeBron James. With his free agent status and his renowned basketball skills, all eyes are on him. With the world at his feet, LeBron has worked hard to create the ultimate brand personality for himself through planning and personal preference.
Taking over your TV
Tonight at 9pm on ESPN, LeBron is getting an hour long TV special,solely to announce what basketball team he has chosen to sign with. This is controversial and unprecedented, but it says a lot about LeBron; not many athletes can boast that they have the power to get people to sprawl out in front of the TVs for an hour to hear a free agency announcement.
James knew he would be a free agent at the same time as Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and other big players; he knew a lot of eyes would be on all of them to see where they would be headed, but he wanted to be a central focus. LeBron has dreamed of being a global superstar and billionaire for a long time, and saw an opportunity with his free agency to really promote his brand personality and have all eyes on him.
Officially on the ‘Net
A few days ago, LeBron set up his own official Twitter account. With currently over 300,000 followers, he’s become a dominant force on the Internet as well. Though he doesn’t tweet much, he’s allowed fans the opportunity to access an open forum for questions, reading firsthand what he’s up to and inspiring more basketball fans to pay attention and get behind him. By having his trusted friends as business partners and breaking away from the traditional business folk he had worked with before, LeBron’s brand is continuously expanding and developing in a very personal and confident manner. With their help, he’s taken himself off the court into other mediums, such as Saturday Night Live and expanding his Nike shoe deal. By creating distinctions in his brand personality with such versatile career paths in addition to his basketball career, LeBron has effectively branded himself as a global celebrity.
Creating the Hype
Amazingly, LeBron and his team of personal friends managed to keep the final decision a secret, despite the difficulties in this day and age to be able to keep such highly desirable information private. By keeping everything so hush hush, fans are on the edge of their seats, people are constantly talking about what team he’ll go to, and the anticipation is continuously rising. The hype has reached the point of no return. LeBron is definitely milking all the attention for what it’s worth (creating his Twitter was just yet another way to get more eyes on him). There’s much more attention to the decision than there would have been had he merely announced it earlier on, like the other players. Though there’s no doubt he truly is a phenomenal player, it’s obvious a lot of his actions are pointed to fully utilizing every marketing opportunity available for his brand personality to expand.
Final Tips from LeBron
LeBron James showed he’s a mastermind at really exploding the attention and hype circulating around his brand. He did so by joining an online network as another mode of fan support and updates on his personal brand. He built suspense by refusing to reveal his decision and keeping all eyes on him for as long as possible. Lastly, he’s built up a larger fan base due to the team offers on the table and the inescapable plugs all over the media. His brand personality is surely a slam dunk.