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Who Owns Your Brand? How NBA Sensation LeBron James Is Building A Media Empire

You may not be a fan of basketball but it has been pretty hard to miss the countless headlines for the few weeks of the news that a number of National Basketball Association (NBA) start were becoming free agents as of July 1, 2010. Being a free agent can be a great opportunity for NBA stars such as Toronto’s Chris Bosh (who as of yesterday signed with Miami), Dwyane Wade (who stayed with his current team Miami) and Lebron James (currently with the Cleveland Cavaliers)

Since his entry into the NBA, LeBron has been compared to all the greatest, past, present and future – yes he’s that damn good. Off the court he is a very saavy business person and his moves over the last week have certainly highlight his ability to understand not only the value of his brand but how to create demand for his brand. Here are a few of the things I’ve noticed from the sidelines over the last week…

July 6:

July 8:

  • LeBron is set to give a press conference at 9:00 PM EST on ESPN exclusively to announce whether he will stay with xx or move to another team; the program is being called “The Decision”
  • is live featuring BING (you know Microsoft paid a pretty penny to get this kind of exposure)
  • The Decision will be co-presented by the University of Phoenix and Microsoft’s Bing search engine
  • James has forced ESPN to donate all the advertising revenue to a charity of his choice, Boys & Girls Club of America
  • He has also negotiated to be interviewed by the journalist of his choice, freelance sports reporter Jim Gray, a former ESPN staffer

What’s being done here between ESPN and LeBron James is going to change the game of personal brand for every! Can you imagine all the starts and wanna-be celebrities that will try to strong media in the future.

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