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Posts Tagged ‘Lebron James’

Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Takes PR Into His Own Hands; Posts Anti-Lebron Tirade

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How does the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers feel now that his team’s — and the NBA’s — biggest star, Lebron James has announced he’s leaving the team for Miami. Not good, of course.

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert posted an open letter to fans yesterday that called James “a former hero” and his decision “a cowardly betrayal.” But it didn’t end there.

Gilbert then went on the record with the Associated Press, and alleged that James “quit” on the team in a recent playoff series.

Some are questioning the actions. Writes Tom Ziller, the NBA blogger for AOL’s Fanhouse:

Gilbert’s PR campaign against James is doing just as much (if not more) damage to the relationship fans have with the seven most successful years in Cavaliers history. People have enough trouble coping with heartbreak without a listening to billionaire harpies wail about it in the background.

James announced his decision in a prime-time ESPN special last night. In our PRNewser poll earlier this week, we asked, “Is Lebron James’ one-hour ESPN special ‘too much?’” So far, 72% said, “Yes. He could face a lot of backlash, and he’s clearly milking it,” while 28% responded, “No. He’s one of the biggest names in sports. Why not do it if you can?”

Poll: Lebron James’ One Hour ESPN Special: PR Genius or Disaster?

The NBA’s biggest free agent, Lebron James, will tell the world which team he will play for next year via a one-hour special on ESPN tomorrow night.

The move squashes speculation that James would announce the news via Twitter or his own website. But is it too much? The New York Daily News says that James’ self-importance has “reached new levels of absurdity.”

Sports Illustrated‘s Michael Rosenberg thinks James will stay in Cleveland: “Does he really have the guts to dump his home team on national television? Even James must realize what a public relations disaster that would be.”

Which leads us to our poll:

Is Lebron James’ one-hour ESPN special ‘too much?’online survey

The Lebron James Pitch

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Possibly the biggest pitch this holiday weekend – and one that continues into this week, is between several NBA teams courting the league’s free agent superstar, Lebron James.

Forbes.com got their hands on the presentation from marketing consultant Interbrand, which attempts to lure James to New York and promises big numbers:

LeBron could earn close to $1 billion over his lifetime in salary and endorsements if he makes Madison Square Garden his permanent home–their high-end estimate sees him earning as much as $2 billion.

Not surprisingly, James is on media “lockdown.”

His publicist, Keith Estabrook of Estabrook Group has done a nice job of keeping his own name out of the news-cycle as well. Estabrook also represents Braylon Edwards of the New York Jets and Terrell Owens. He was SVP of corporate communications at Sony BMG before forming his own agency.

“When reporters call the Cavaliers public relations department on a James query, they are transferred swiftly to Estabrook in Manhattan,” the New York Post recently reported.

PRNewser has their own call into Estabrook’s office in attempt to have him shine some light on the PR process behind what is shaping up to be the biggest sports signing in recent memory.

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