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Harvard Business School has a class on the marketing of LeBron James

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by SidDaKid, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. SidDaKid

    SidDaKid Member

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    One of the weirder aspects of LeBron James'(notes) status is that people analyze him as a public figure just as much as they do his skills on the court. When James earned scorn for failing in the fourth quarter of games, the criticism was more about his failings than his inability to make a shot. The perception is that the same personal faults that led to "The Decision" is generally related to his problems winning a championship.

    That's silly, not the least of which because "The Decision" was a marketing decision full of faulty plans and in-game issues tend to relate to decisions made on the fly, plus weird things like physical flaws in a shooting stroke or poor ballhandling. They're different enough, in fact, that one of the best business schools in the country has decided to analyze LeBron's marketing in depth. Shira Springer has the story for The Boston Globe (via PBT):

    It's a great idea for a class, in part because the brands of creative artists and athletes change far more often than those of multinational corporations like Coca-Cola and Nike. Marketers need to know how to handle sharp changes in public opinion while still maintaining a baseline sense of what the person or group stand for. It's a special challenge involving sometimes very different short and long-term goals.

    The depth of this course also serves as a reminder that basketball fans and writers sometimes consider LeBron in oversimplified terms. While "The Decision" was a horrible piece of garbage that never should have happened, the ways in which LeBron and his team handled the announcement -- from the Jim Gray interview to the second-banana status of the Boys and Girls Club during the whole show -- can be quite instructive. LeBron is far from perfect, but it's possible to take his missteps as learning experiences rather than examples of innate moral deficiencies.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ba...hool-has-a-class-on-the-marke?urn=nba-wp10883
     
  2. SPF35

    SPF35 Member

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    I think it is fair. Lebron was the most marketed and the earliest, heaviest marketing scheme I have ever seen in my life. It was well aware since he was 16/17 that he was not going to college so he was almost marketing as a professional with magazines and espn building hype. I have never seen more of an aggressive marketing plan and he was crowned 'king james' without ever playing a single game in the NBA.

    What baffles me his rookie year, he was obviously the most gifted of the crop, but did not perform the best. He was incredibly inefficient among the top in turnovers, shot a horrible 43 percent and there were better options at the time. This is ok when they are developing him, but what is worst you had carmello on the otehr side who averaged comparable, if not betters, yet was the leader of his team as they went to the playoffs from the lottery and it was lebron who receiveed ROY hands down. ( lebron:20 points on inefficent-5-5, with about 3-4 turnovers, Carmelo was 21-6-3 with better percentages and he led his previous lottery team to the playoffs that first year in a heavier west competition)

    But from then on, with espn, true hoop, among the small details in their recaps I would read them rave gloriously about his accomplishments. Given he was a special athlete, but I had never seen such a campaign with and the NBA. That said, you can see why chris paul, John wall all run to lebron's marketing campaign as they kick things to an unheard of level.
     
  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

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    And somehow Maverick Carter gets credit. He's no businessman.
     
  4. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I'd put the marketing of Yao Ming on the syllabus too. It'd be interesting to look into Yaomania and the cross-cultural marketing of promoting him in both the US and in China. Plus the ancillary effects of Chinese marketing of the Rockets and other Rockets players just because of Yao. There's a lot of material there.
     
  5. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Not suprising. Douche bag school teaches marketing of douche bag.
     
  6. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Contributing Member
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    students should stage a walk out because the teacher is clearly lebron bias...why isn't the teacher also teaching about the Derrick Rose marketing?
     
  7. CCorn

    CCorn Member

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    Lesson 1: Why you don't hire your friends with no credentials to do your PR.
     
  8. Fyreball

    Fyreball Contributing Member

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    Is Maverick Carter going to be a guest lecturer?
     
  9. flamingdts

    flamingdts Member

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    This.

    The marketing of Yao Ming has had more effect on the NBA than Lebron James.

    Yao Ming introduced a nation of people to the sport and bridged a gap between American Basketball and Chinese Basketball.

    Not to mention, the "Yao Ming effect".
     
  10. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    Cannot be understated, I went to a Rockets Nets game (when Yi was on the Nets and Yao still played) almost every spectator was chinese, I think some of them weren't even interested in who won, because they would erupt if Yao or Yi did anything. It was quite a sight, how all these people, who probably normally wouldn't go to an NBA game, filled up the arena all because of a man from their homeland.
     
  11. HombreDeHierro

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    maybe he is, just looking for the right train to hook onto...

    just the luck of the draw that he's friends with LeBron
     
  12. val_b

    val_b Member

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    right.. i think its better that the teacher added 2 or 3 more basketball superstar.

    guess not all the students are lebron fans..
     
  13. jo mama

    jo mama Contributing Member

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    but yao was marketed and handled very well. lebron's marketing strategy has been a series of disasters and miscalculations...makes for a more interesting discussion if you want to analyze what not to do.

    this is not a "class" on lebron, rather just a lecture - and part of a larger series of in-depth analysis on certain celebrities. i dont see the big deal. its like a history class spending a day looking at andrew jackson's policies as president.
     
  14. CCorn

    CCorn Member

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    Too bad Lebron didn't play baseball, he could have screwed the Indians also.
     
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