So with the first day of summer comes a new rite of passage in select NBA citie.the beg LeBron sweepstakes. Mayo.s, celebrities, fans, websites, media from sea to shining sea have come up with ploy after ploy to gain attention as LeBron James decides where to next ply his trade. The recruitment James missed by forgoing college is now in full swing, with the stakes for some franchises who have cast aside previous seasons to build cap space now hanging in the balance, not to mention the dollars and equity of thousands of season ticketholders who have cast their lot and bet of James coming to save franchises in L.A., New York, Chicago, Cleveland and points in between. The recruiting has run from mainstream to viral, and will cost organizations a good chunk of change with the hopes of bringing an ROI to pass along to their partners and fans.
Still while all the recruiting is orchestrated, some enterprising groups have created a bit of a cottage industry in the promotion of all things LeBron. From videos to bootleg teeshirts, the bring LeBron sweepstakes continues on.
One of the better efforts by a group (and a cost-controlled one at that) is being put forth on July 1 by The Lake County Captains, the class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The team will host a “Please Stay LeBron” night on July 1, the first day of the NBA's free agency period.
Like the Brooklyn Cyclones did last year by changing their name to the.Baracklyn Cyclone. for a night, the Captains will undergo a one night name shift. They will become the.”LeLake LeCounty LeCaptains” for the evening, with all LeCaptains players and staff adding the “Le” prefix to their first names. Fans will be encouraged to wear their LeBron jerseys, shoes and other Cavaliers gear to the park.
The LeCaptains also found a media partner, the local News-Herald, to feature a full-page insert in the July 1 edition of the News-Herald that reads “Please Stay LeBron!” On the insert, there will be a special offer where fans can bring the insert to the LeCaptains box office that night and receive tickets for $6.00 each in honor of LeBron's new jersey #6 next season. There will also be additional full-page inserts available inside LeClassic Park.
The Captains on field host, LeGrover, will be wearing a custom “LeCaptains” jersey with #23 on the back. The jersey will be auctioned off during the game to benefit LeCaptains charities.
In-game promotions will include two fans doing their best Austin Carr impersonation of a highlight of LeBron, plus an on-field slam dunk contest featuring a mini hoop and three young fans being judged by LeGrover, LeSkipper and LeCaptain LeTony.
Now will it make any difference in Jame. decision to stay or g. Well, probably not. Then again, will the video campaign by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg change things eithe. Doubtful. At the end of the day James and his advisory team will sit, listen and then decide where the star will go next, as each city jumps the next to try and garner attention.
Regardless the Captains achieved some key goals. They came up with a unique promo that drew media attention..they showed civic pride and support for a local ico.they gave a media partner great added value, and most importantly they had fun and enhanced their own brand. All good elements for a smart promotional campaign, and well done as the sweepstakes for James kicks into high gear.