LeBron James: Basketball Star, Marketing Mogul

LeBron James, one of the NBA’s most popular players, has decided to go back to Cleveland. Opting out of his contract with the Miami Heat, James wanted to test the free agency waters to see if any other teams would take the bait. James had a phenomenal run with the Heat and is looking to keep his streak going, even if it means taking his talents away from South Beach. James, however, isn’t just one of the best athletes of our days. He’s also a smart business man.

A recent article in The Street outlines some of his sponsors and touches on what a new team might mean for his image. With his stock one of the highest in the NBA, the article mentioned that, although it would be his third team before age 30, his image wouldn’t necessarily suffer because of his popularity on and off the court. LeBron’s marketing strategy is quite brilliant. Although he uses his basketball skill set on the court, he uses his basketball and celebrity popularity off the court, landing him big sponsorships like Coca-Cola, Samsung and Nike. Businesses can learn from his marketing strategy and employ it in their own plans. By being an authority in his industry, the public looks to LeBron for his opinion on other subjects.

Organizations must engage the public and place themselves as thought leaders if they wish to be successful. But just being a thought leader isn’t enough, though. LeBron James does a good job promoting himself through his website, social media, and other public appearances. Companies with established thought leaders must also promote those thought leaders through content marketing, PR and branded storytelling avenues, an integrated strategy that set Merit Mile works with all clients to develop. As one example, having an online and mobile presence is critical. Marketers looking to drive traffic and leads must employ strategies that will integrate multiple screens. As more and more consumers use their smartphones for news and information, corporations must meet consumers where they are. Is your business the LeBron James of its industry? Are consumers looking to you as an industry thought leader? Schedule some time with a Merit Mile marketing strategist today.