A King's Popularity and Reputation – A look on Social Media
Xenophon Strategies / PRGN, Washington, DC/USA, 4.07.2011
Bob Brady z Xenophon Strategies analizuje wizerunek koszykarza LeBrona Jamesa.
Before entering the draft and playing his first game in the NBA, LeBron James attracted the attention of the world as a high school superstar who eventually had the full attention of Cleveland Cavaliers’ fans, basketball fans, sports reporters and current and former NBA players. His every action, on and off the court, along with every comment has been scrutinized by fans and critics in the media and on all social media channels across the country and around the world.
Being considered (potentially) the greatest player of all time – greater than Michael Jordan – “King James” was able to build a very solid and positive brand, especially after winning an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to five consecutive playoff appearances. In fact, nearly 70 percent of discussions about James were positive.
James could do no wrong.
But everything changed last summer when he and his management team orchestrated “The Decision,” a primetime show on ESPN to announce his signing with the Miami Heat. Nearly 10 million people watched and millions more took to social media to discuss what many consider to be one of James’ biggest PR and reputation failures.
Fast forward almost a year to the just-completed NBA Finals, when James was scrutinized for his fourth quarter inadequacies that led to his Heat falling to the Dallas Mavericks. While his on-court performance was widely ridiculed, it was his off-the-court antics during the playoffs that really raised the ire of many in the social media world. After making a derogatory comment during a press conference, making fun of Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and insulting the working-class NBA fan, James’ public persona continues to take a hit.
With a brand that is worth well north of $100 million dollars, James should address his image much like any company should. Any business that sees its approval rating drop by almost 25 percent, according to internal research, in a year’s time would at a minimum investigate its communications and marketing strategy. James is not your average 26-year-old NBA player; he’s a corporation with an identity to protect.
James’s name is leaving headlines and conversations online as his reputation hangs in the balance. A year from now James may win the NBA title, but until that time James may want to take heed of what everyone is saying and develop a reputation management team that will provide him with some counsel on how to rehabilitate his image.
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