July 22, 2014

Anti-LeBron sentiment being exploited in political battle against Josh Mandel

We don’t talk politics here at WFNY. Sometimes, politics crosses paths with sports, though. It appears that in the battle between Sherrod Brown and Josh Mandel, someone is looking to exploit an anti-LeBron James sentiment in order to convince people that Josh Mandel has something to hide from a campaign finance standpoint. Obviously, this site won’t be weighing in on any kind of debate between Sherrod Brown and Josh Mandel, but it is an interesting tactic that this group, Workers’ Voice, is attempting to use in June of 2012 as LeBron James plays in his second straight NBA finals with the Miami Heat.

I am mostly curious how effective this campaign will be for the group that runs independently of any actual candidate. If this tactic was used right after “The Decision” I am guessing it would have been very effective. Now? I’m not so sure. Is LeBron hatred running its course for a lot of people? In my little circles on Twitter, the feelings have changed, if not evolved. A lot of the anger has become stale or subsided. There’s definitely a lot of anti-LeBron sentiment, but there’s also a bit of a backlash against the hackneyed “Le-Nicknames” like LeQuit, etc.

So what do you think? Not about Josh Mandel or Sherrod Brown, of course. What do you think of the marketing campaign. Good idea or bad idea? Effective or ineffective? Obviously I’m talking about it, and giving it awareness, but other than that.

Update: after searching more thoroughly through the organization website, I found the following about this ad campaign.

 The ads will also be targeted toward people searching on Google and Bing for information on Game 4 and/or Lebron James who, like Josh Mandel, has been accused of being unable to do the job he was hired for in Ohio, and wanted to take his “talents” elsewhere.

Upon further review, I find it to be a pretty strong shoe-horn of LeBron to an issue where the comparison doesn’t fit. Regardless of their criticisms against Mandel in this ad, I am giving the concept a thumbs down, personally. Both were unable to do the job he was hired for in Ohio? Ew.

  • Michael Mayer

    I saw this ad on Cleveland.com this morning, and I didn’t even make the connection to LeBron. I’ve guess I’ve blocked that Witness poster from my memory.

  • MSkog

    I think it’s extremely stupid. But I tend to think most political ads, either by the candidate themselves or by a third party, are pretty stupid. I generally question their effectiveness.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yea forget good or bad lets have a category for stupid. All this does is remind me of the oncoming onslaught of political crap that will be hitting the airways as the calendar months click off. Makes me glad that most of my TV viewing is comprised of sports and movies. I DVR everything else which allows me to bypass commercials and save 15-20 minutes a show.

  • http://twitter.com/demeatloaf The Greek

    It is par for the course. When is the last time a political ad wasn’t at least a little cringe-worthy?

  • dwhit110

    From a marketing standpoint, what’s smart is it breaks through the clutter. The image is familiar to Cleveland residents so when you compare it to the standard political banner ad that someone is probably very unlikely to even notice, it’s possible that this one could do a better job of catching eyeballs.

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    I hate political ads and I hate LeBron. So it works for me but probably not as it was intended.

  • JoshKess

    I don’t like when my food touch on my plate, & I dont like when people talk about politics when I’m trying to read about sports.

  • BenRM

    To be honest, I don’t really get it. I mean, I get that it’s a play on LeBron. And I understand the Brown attack on Mandell. But I don’t get the comparison.

    Is it just that “LeBron is Bad. Mandell is bad?” Or is there something I’m parallel I’m missing? If not, I don’t think it’s very effective.

  • mgbode

    if Brown tried this last summer, then I think the negativity would have gone directly back at himself. the wound was still too fresh and the hatred would have been directed towards the party that put it back out there, not the intended target IMO.

    at this point, it’s been mocked to the point that it’s lost it’s edginess and is relatively safe to use (and somewhat smart as it gets his ad free playtime on sports websites, etc.)

  • RoversRugby

    I don’t really get it. LeBron James is an entitled P.O.S. and Josh Mandel fought for our country, then came back to Ohio to continue to serve us. What do the two have anything to do with eachother?

  • Kildawg

    Typical public-sector union. They don’t understand anybody with blue-collar roots. Two things you don’t talk about or mix with anything are religion and politics. Hope this backfires on Brown, the Democrats, and this union.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Yay for election years! Can’t wait for a summer of mudslinging and robo-calls.

  • Scut_Farkus

    “We don’t talk politics here at WFNY [unless we can backdoor the discussion with a question loosely related to Cleveland sports].”

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    The actual political issue is not being discussed. The accusation about Mandel and money has nothing to do with the discussion here which is about the use of a sports image with a presumably negative connotation in an attack ad.

  • realrepublic

    I don’t get why the writing is so bad in this article. Perhaps, like the ad, you were trying to get us to decipher exactly what we were looking at. What does “Both were unable to do the job he was hired for in Ohio? Ew.” mean? Is it both or he and who are you even talking about at this point? As for the last statement, perhaps the Ew gives away this was written by a 10 year old.

  • baclap

    I’m pretty sure it’s just “LeBron is bad. Mandell is bad.” as you said. Most political ads seem to follow the “keep it simple, stupid” approach. While most comments here suggest this ad will be ineffective, I think it will resinate with a lot of folks. I still see a lot of passionate LeBron hatred from types that I could see being influenced by a political ad if you know what I mean.