The Phenom strikes back

Posted on October 26, 2010

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One of the most interesting Twitter related stories of the past year definitely has to do with Lebron James‘ move to Miami Heat after leaving clues and cues to his Twitter followers over his undecided fate. I personally don’t watch much of NBA basketball but this story sucked me in hook, line and sinker for the exhaustive use of social media which created an air of mystery that propelled something as trivial as a player switching teams into a Shakespearean tale of betrayal (for the fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers) and victory (for Miami Heat fans) .
Of course the city of Cleveland and all those who support its basketball franchise hate Mr James’ guts and like (much more unlike) Tiger Woods, the basketball behemoth is taking to Nike to help redeem his tarnished image.
And it is working a charm. Checking out Lebron James‘ Twitter account you find more words of praise than you would expect maybe calls for his head for what doesn’t quite seem a fullhearted apology. Tiger Woods tried the same tactic with varying results – predominantly negative though. So what makes Lebron’s Nike plug so much different? Is dropping a city more forgivable than infidelity? Or is it the charisma of the individual that matters?
No doubt King James is seen as the more open sportsman whose only fault was giving into a mandate to protect his career. The people love him and that hasn’t changed. At the same it begs to question whether his initial Twitter strategy of mystery did more damage than cause intrigue and whether by being more transparent Nike would not have to pay the cost of such a campaign.
I vote for the latter.
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Posted in: Social media, Twitter