Top Menu

LeBron James Further Destroys PR

Really LeBron?

I just shook my head and mentally shook LeBron James by the collar when I read his tweet directed at critics, yesterday: “Don’t think for one min(ute) that I haven’t been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!”

(For the record, I wouldn’t lay a hand on a man three-times my size, especially if I was coaching him.)

Ok, so I guess I won’t be invited to his South Beach Christmas Bash. Oh, well….

Missed drinks donning umbrellas with The Decided aside, James is still a young player in the NBA. He has no championship rings and he still has lots of endorsements to sign before he comes close to Michael Jordan, the star basketball player he has been most compared. James’ endorsements may even trail Tiger Woods’.

Acting like a bully won’t help James’ cause. Let’s face it, he needs the money, based on a story in my local Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about how much it costs to be a professional athlete. Additional endorsements could help James better live the lifestyle in his new home city, too.

More importantly, acting like a bully and making his pulpit a threatening one only enhances an image etched into public minds earlier this summer: James the Ego.

As a PR agent and publicist, I’ve long coached people in sports that if they develop and live an honest and generous lifestyle and speak clearly and with passion, endorsements will follow. I’d like to amend that statement: if your honest lifestyle is one of threats and me-centric comments, sponsors, especially in today’s market where companies are more conscious than ever about image, you may attract more negative comments than big-dollar deals.

What do James’ accusatory/threatening social media post tell you about the athlete?


Image by Keith Allison

, , , , , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to LeBron James Further Destroys PR

  1. Geoff Livingston August 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Um, so what? If he wins a championship — like Michael Jordan won six — using spites and taunts as some of the fuel, who cares? Winning is winning.

  2. Geoff Livingston August 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Um, so what? If he wins a championship — like Michael Jordan won six — using spites and taunts as some of the fuel, who cares? Winning is winning.

  3. Gsideman August 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    P.S. Sorry for the seemingly funky timing when you read this post. I wrote it after the last LeBron issue last week. Although, you can look forward to the his story in GQ where he goes third-person while talking about his former team owner!

  4. Gsideman August 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Hi Geoff — Thanks for weighing in. I’m writing purely from a PR standpoint. I read and hear about more people who want to LeBron to fail, not succeed. That’s not good image-making.

  5. Felixchief August 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    He is speaking as one who, as Shakespeare would say, “Neither begs nor fears your favors nor your hate”. He is being a man. Maybe there are things more important to him that playing nice to haters just so that he can get more endorsements. If endorsements and money or even this presumption that he has some ‘legacy’ in mind were his top priority. He would still be in Cleveland or 2nd best in NY. Besides i doubt that he is pining after endorsements. Sometimes a man just wants the liberty to speak his mind and may not trying to win public opinion polls. Michael was great but the operative word there is ‘was’, as was all the great achievers of the past(the operative word there being ‘past’), but they walked their paths and lived true to their values and i believe this young man is doing the same. Besides you are one to talk miss blogo-genius when the only think you can dunk is a donut. How is this for some PR:-)

  6. Paul August 20, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    Jesus you dont get it… he is honest, hes hurt, so,hurt that he doesnt even care about pr anymore… wait till he starts playing in this team, his pr will walk hand in hand with his achievements on the court

  7. Gsideman August 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    I do get it. The diva label is firmly affixed. Maybe James doesn’t care and if not, that’s also his right. But his past demonstrates that he does. I guess time will tell.

  8. Gsideman August 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    I wish I could say that I dunk a mean doughnut, but I don’t eat them (I’m AWESOME with a tortilla in salsa!). Thanks for your thoughts, Felix.


  1. What Small Business Can Learn From Fortune-500 PR Mistakes | Understanding Marketing - August 23, 2010

    […] just companies that have had to deal with brand defense. People like Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods and Lebron James have also been under fire for negative PR. Associations, too, like mining and the egg industry have […]

Leave a Reply