Lebron Vanishes from Social Media, So It APPears

Jun 2, 2014

Miami’s resident NBA superstar expands his mobile industry endorsement with his foray into the app market.

Before I continue with this post, let it be known that I have, and will always be a Knicks fan!! (yes, I am a glutton for disappointment)

Professional (and let’s face it, some not so professional) athletes have increasingly resorted to social media as an outlet to speak directly and authentically to their fans without dealing with a third party’s take on their affairs.  Using digital and social media accounts to bypass press is the future of consumership for a select group of large brands who need to connect directly with fans and consumers.

So why would one of the NBA’s biggest stars suddenly vanish from social media during the league’s most publicized part of the 2014 season?  @KingJames ( AKA Lebron James) has not tweeted his 12.9 million followers since April 29, shortly after the Heat’s first round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats.

–   Did he abandon his fans (cough, again)?

–   Did he want to focus all his attention on his game?

–   Did he want block out any negative comments and trash talking that spread so easily through social?

–   Or is there some sort of  marketing campaign brewing?

The answer of course, is marketing. Enter the new app, appropriately entitled, “Lebron”.  Exclusive to Samsung Galaxy users,, the app  aggregates digital channel content that would usually be spread across platforms into a single medium. This is an especially potent move by Samsung given the high demand for Lebron content during the playoffs and, well, year-round.  Samsung has created an exclusive partnership where they are one of, if not the only, “inside source” other than the Heat to be providing up-to-the-minute coverage of Lebron to his fans.

Curious to know what Lebron is going to wear?  The critical decision of what he’ll have for breakfast?  Just open the “Style” tab.  Shift over to “NBA Playoffs” for stats, career milestones and real-time updates.  Those missing social media posts?  They’re not on Twitter or Facebook, but under the “Athlete” tab of the app.

One might wonder what Lebron gets beyond the obvious royalties and additional fame. The final tab, “Journey” is an intimate look at his family life and charity work with the Lebron James Family Foundation.  The exclusivity of the app means the masses will download it just to access Lebron, but many fans will be put in touch with the charitable side of Lebron, something they may not have interacted with as much, if at all.

Dare I say, well-played Lebron?

Like Lebron & Co., our agency understands what it takes to authenticate a brand’s voice through mobile by enriching the user with mixed media, deepening understandings of a brand and engaging the user with targeted content.

Speaking of targets, the Heats’ next one will be the Spurs for the Championship. I predict the Spurs in 6. (Sorry, Lebron) That said, please direct all hate mail to @aelaineW.



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