Controlling the Conversation by Tapping into Your Market

Controlling the Conversation by Tapping into Your Market

LeBron James infamously let down an entire city – nay, broke an entire state’s heart – when he announced, on National TV, that he was abandoning his roots and “taking his talents to South Beach”.  The self-servicing spectacle, billed by ESPN as “The Decision”, was the beginning of a very tough summer for James.  Fans turned against him, critics questioned his motives and the creative industry experts began discussing the repercussions it may have had on his personal brand and the effect it may have on his endorsement deals.

James has had enormous commercial value since the beginning of his career and his lucrative endorsements range from Vitamin Water to Bubblelicious, but perhaps no company holds greater stock in the LeBrand than Nike.  The company initially signed him for an unprecedented $90 million dollar, 7 year contract straight out of high school and recently extended the contract for an additional 7 years for an undisclosed amount of money this past spring.  Considered to be at the forefront of marketing gold, along with Apple, Nike has been enjoying brand paradise since the days of Michael Jordan and their most recent James collaboration is no exception.

In their newest commercial, carefully time released at the start of NBA regular season, Nike takes control of the conversation by positioning LeBron James at the forefront of the debate, allowing him to addresses his critics and stand by his “decision”.  If you care about the NBA then you most definitely have an opinion about LeBron James and love him or hate him, you can’t stop talking about his move to Miami…and now you can’t stop talking about Nike.

Nike again proves that tapping into your target market’s fundamental emotions create the most success for your brand.  Have you considered your target market’s emotional needs?

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