Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

LeBron’s Courageous Choice?

October 29th, 2010 by Deb McLean

Nike Inc.’s latest marketing campaign probably won’t be “Hot in Cleveland”.

Nike just released a 90-second film created by one of my favorite agencys Wieden & Kennedy in which LeBron James poses a series of rhetorical questions about his decision this summer to blow off his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and sign with the Miami Heat.   I didn’t like the way he handled it at the time and how he left it with these devoted fans, but I can’t blame him for making the move.

“Should I really believe I ruined my legacy,” he asks. “Should I tell you I’m a championship chaser? That I did it for the money?”

Although the Cavaliers fans will scream at their computers a resounding “Yes,” the intent of this message is to portray LeBron’s decision as a courageous personal choice.

I read in the Portland Business Journal that that Nike’s vice president of global brand marketing, Davide Grasso said the film — part of a multi-media campaign called “Rise” — helps to “amplify LeBron’s voice.”

“We’re celebrating his courage to forge his own journey even when others may have disagreed with his decisions,” Grasso said in a news release. “It’s this Just Do It spirit that defines LeBron and Nike as we strive to inspire all young athletes.”

The film may also serve as a counterweight to Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s emotion-fueled screed posted on the team’s website in which he called LeBron’s decision a “shocking act of disloyalty.”

What do you think?

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