Cleveland Hustles: The Hustle Continues

LeBron James is choosing one small business to promote

LeBron James
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LeBron James

Having a superstar celebrity like, say, LeBron James promote your business is the kind of game-changing advertising most small-business owners can only dream of.

But for one entrepreneur, it will be a reality.

In a new contest launching today, small-business owners can compete to win an endorsement from basketball icon LeBron James.

They can submit 23-second videos via Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #PitchLeBronContest to be put in the running to win a social-media post by King James, who has 32 million followers on Twitter and 23 million on Facebook.

If you're wondering why 23 is the magic number, it was originally Michael Jordan's jersey number and was later adopted by James.

The contest is open to all small-business owners in the U.S. who have a brick-and-mortar location and no more than 250 employees, but they cannot be franchise businesses.

Applicants are asked to submit videos that demonstrate why the social-media support from James would be especially meaningful for their business. It's not a requirement, but contestants are also encouraged to shoot videos at their business locations.

The contest runs from Aug. 10 through Aug. 18, and a winner will be announced on Aug. 23.

It serves as a lead up to the launch of the new CNBC prime-time show "Cleveland Hustles," which is executive produced by James and premieres on Aug. 24. The eight-episode series features local Ohio entrepreneurs who compete to win the support of a team of investors as they open up a storefront in an underserved neighborhood in Cleveland.

Business owners who are looking for some guidance on how to produce their best pitch video can attend one of three live events with "Cleveland Hustles" host B. Bonin Bough: Aug. 12 in Philadelphia, Aug. 13 in Chicago and Aug. 15 in San Francisco.

In addition to the social-media shoutout from James, the winner of the #PitchLeBronContest will get 15 on-air promotional spots on CNBC and a handful of mentions across CNBC's social-media channels.