I discussed earlier in my part 1 on how Lebron James has so much influence on Sports and social media platform allowed the public to view him as a major influence on their lives. Arguably the best basketball player on the planet over the past decade James has the ability to create and generate his brand to the global audience.
professional athletes often rely on the media, writers, media outlets, sports radio and most importantly excellent Public Image to sell tickets, merchandise and increase team and brand revenue.
After 7 years playing for his hometown of Cleveland and not winning a Championship, James had an option to stay or move to another team as part of his free agency. In what has become the greatest Public Relation disaster on national global television network James PR team instead choose to go on TV for an hour special dedication of his decision to say two words “MIAMI HEAT”, from that interview the world best basketball player and the face of the NBA public image took a massive decline.
Free agency sport is common players are allowed and have options to move or stay with their current team, James’s infamous interview dubbed “The Decision” on July 2010 generated roughly 200,000 tweets within few hours of the Interview. roughly 9.97 Million people tuned in to watch the interview, with 13 Million at the peak of the announcement.
James Public relations team had not taken into consideration the amount of backlash and resentment of deciding to go on national audience and declare his intention that “In this fall, I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.” Those few words change the National Basketball Association fans and his public perception. Overblown media exposure mix with neglecting the main story allowed the public to turn on their former hometown hero, fans burn anything related to James from replica jerseys, shirts and shorts.
James’s public relations team did not take appreciate the amount of interest on the decision that was occurring in this digital age where information has turned into 60 seconds round the clock thanks to blogs and social sites like twitter and Facebook.
unrestricted and restricted free agency?
“An unrestricted free agent is able to sign with any team he chooses while a restricted free agent’s original team has the chance to keep the player by matching the offer sheet signed with another team. This is known as the “right of first refusal.” (http://www.nba.com/freeagency/faqs.html)