You know why LeBron James needs to leave Cleveland? Because he’s just not getting the major marketing and sponsorship deals with the world’s largest corporations being stuck in little ol’ Cleveland. Perhaps that’s slight reductio ad absurdum in practice there, but the general point is one that I’ve heard plenty of times before.
I guess sponsorships with Nike, Coke, State Farm Insurance, Bubbilicious, VitaminWater, etc aren’t glamorous enough. So how about McDonald’s? Does that add some clout to his endorsement profile?
I first heard about this story from Brian Windhorst way back in the first week of this month. Now, it appears it has become official and LeBron James will be featured with Dwight Howard in a McDonalds commercial during the Super Bowl. The 2 superstars will be dueling each other in a game of H-O-R-S-E similar to the classic Jordan vs Bird H-O-R-S-E commercial.
Tom Withers wrote a story for the Associated Press on this issue, and he talks a little bit about what this sponsorship all means for LeBron:
Beyond his involvement in charity work with the company, James will be part of TV, print and online advertising campaigns for McDonald’s, which operates over 31,000 restaurants in 119 countries.
Maverick Carter, James’ business partner and CEO of LRMR Marketing, said the pairing of James and McDonald’s was a “a perfect fit.”
“McDonald’s is one of the best known and most recognizable brands in the world,” Carter said. “LeBron couldn’t ask for a better partner and for him to be involved with such a company says a lot about where he is in his career.”
In March, James will lend his support to the McDonald’s All-American high school games in Columbus, Ohio. Proceeds of the event will go to Ronald McDonald House charities in Central Ohio. James was named MVP of the game when it was held in Cleveland in 2003.
No matter how you feel about McDonalds food, there’s no question they do a lot of respectable charity work and it’s great to see that LeBron will be involved with that aspect of this sponsorship deal as well.
This just continues to show that no matter how badly some want to believe it to be true, the reality is that Cleveland is not too small of a market for LeBron to be an influential part of major marketing partnerships across the world. Now the only question that remains is who won the game of H-O-R-S-E between he and Howard?