By Andrea Kunicky
The NBA season tips off tonight, but the buzz among hoops fans is about LeBron James' new Nike commerical, which addresses the off-season controversy over his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. "What should I do?" the NBA star asks rhetorically.
The commerical - titled “Rise” - consists of James pitching the audience various scenarios of what James could have done and how he might satisfy critics who think he made the wrong decision last summer in deciding to leave the Cavs and sign with the star-studded Heat.
"We're celebrating his courage to forge his own journey even when others may have disagreed with his decisions," Nike's vice president of global brand marketing Davide Grasso, said in news stories.
The reaction from the release on YouTube has been overwhelming. Well, that ad "is pretty much perfect," says Royce Young of CBS Sports. It's "candid" and allows us "to see the human side to LeBron" that had all but disappeared lately. If James' goal here was to restore his brand, then "put it this way: Mission Accomplished."
While you can argue over James' image, CNBC's Darren Rovell noted that Nike shoes are "barely mentioned in the spot."
In my opinion, this was another great marketing tool for James. If people agree or disagree with his decision, James and his popularity is so great that we can’t turn our heads away from him. People might still be upset with where he decided to play but it seems this is his way of showing that he really doesn’t care what people think of him. It’s honest and rebellious. It’s a reflection of James.
TNT will show the video tonight during its coverage of the NBA season opener between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, so it will be interesting to see how the reaction is to this now controversial ad.
Andrea Kunicky is an Account Executive. Contact her at email@example.com.