Judging from the latest Lebron James commercial, Nike understands the power of viral marketing, because it's creating a huge buzz on message boards and youtube, comparable to the What's G? commercial by Gatorade.
During the short ad, the camera angle is behind James' head, and you hear his unmistakable voice:
First of all, I want to thank everyone for coming out here today. After having a long discussion with friends and family, I've decided to follow my first love.
The commercial ends with two text flashes: Brace Yourself. 1-18-09.
What's Lebron Jame's first love?
There's no easy answer. Obviously, basketball ranks among his top passions, but in 2001, James was a First-Team All-State wide receiver, which is no small feat in the football-crazed state of Ohio.
(On that note, wide receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens were talented two-sport athletes. Moss was named Mr. Basketball for West Virgina when he played for Dupont High School,and Terrell Owens played football and basketball at the University of Tennessee-Chatanooga.)
The wesbite lebron2010 features a pic titled "Bron a Brown?", AKA, one of the lebrowns photos. It shows "Lebron" stitched on the back of a Cleveland Browns NFL jersey is one of the most popular on realcavsfans.com. Lebron 2010 was created by a Cavs fan who's trying to raise funds for a billboard in downtown cleveland spring/summer of 2010 to show LeBron that Cleveland supports him.
Keep in mind, James a free agent in 2010, and he's never hidden his love for New York. During the 2008 ALCS, James wore a Yankees cap when the Indians were hosting New York. I doubt James plans to sign with the Yankees for Spring Training, but it wouldn't be the first time the NBA's biggest star traded his basketball for a bat. James wears 23 in honor of his favorite player and mentor-Michael Jordan.
Jordan's tryout with Chicago White Sox and their Minor League Affiliate, the Birmingham Baron's was essentialy a failed publicity stunt.
(Yet his baseball jersey remains one of the top selling items at the Baron's stadium in Hoover, Alabama.)
Jame's other recent ad features him dancing to Kid N' Play,so perhaps he's going to follow Shaq's route to rap. When Shaq left Orlando for Los Angeles, he tried to convince us he was trying to expand his acting and rapping career. Kazaam and Steel didn't bombed at the box office, and I doubt any of his rap albums fared much better.
With Lebron and Nike, the possibilities are endless. Fans continue to speculate on youtube, but we won't know until Sunday.