Will LeBron Capitalize On His Own Announcement?
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
It's the biggest NBA news to be broken: Where will LeBron James land?
And although a group of journalists are hoping that they'll get the scoop, you have to wonder if LeBron himself wants to break the news.
Despite the fact that many of his free agent friends including Amar'e Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have embraced the social media game, James — nor his business team — has felt the need to engage in the space.
He isn’t active on Facebook and he doesn’t have a Twitter account, but his Web site, which was active from when he was drafted in 2003 through 2006 and has been dormant for at least two years, has now mysteriously sprung to life.
Go to LeBronJames.com and you'll see a page with LeBron's pixelated face on it that says "Getting Closer."
Just a wild guess here, but the only thing LeBron is getting closer to is making a decision on where he'll be for the next three, five or six years.
Effective athlete Web sites are now few and far between. In the rare occasion when an athlete breaks his own news, it has been broken on social media platforms.
The hottest athlete Web site of the year has been TigerWoods.com, as people read his statements and, more often than not, blasted the golfer in the comments section, which was eventually taken down.
If LeBron is going to break the news on LeBronJames.com, you wonder what would be the most effective way to do it.
Well, for me, there's only one way because once the announcement gets out, people won't feel the need to go to the site. The job is to maximize numbers.
Here’s the idea.
The day before the announcement, send out an e-mail to every one who has signed up on the site’s mailing list that LeBron will make his announcement the following day at a particular time. For those who don't sign up, his business team can send a mass blast to the media that it will be happening.
That next day, James will talk at length — live on streaming video — about each team and what they offered. In between, commercials of James' partners — Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald's — will run. Then, like many of these high school recruiting press conferences, James will choose a hat and say why he went with that team.
If a network like ESPN wanted to take it live, they can. It will, of course, just have LeBronJames.com logos all over it as well as LeBron's sponsors in the background.
What this doesn't factor in is how good some of the journalists are who are on the LeBron beat. We know LeBron could keep a secret, but could a team? Could everyone who has been talking over this free agency period be muted?
Or would LeBron dare to make an announcement before telling the team? And if that's the case, how will that team, that will be spending crazy money on LeBron, feel if they don’t get to announce it first with their team sponsors on their background banner.
Let's say this is what Team LeBron is going to do. If it is, the next question is, how do they capitalize on it further?
The answer lies in how good the Web site continues to be. The Web site promises that it will be “personally directed by LeBron.” But James’ Web site went on hiatus because he didn’t want to do the daily updates anymore. Not to blame LeBron for that, it's why almost all athlete Web sites never work out — the athletes don't want to do the work.
Announcing his new, or old team if it’s the Cavs, on his re-launched Web site could be a good idea, but odds are against even LeBron that LeBronJames.comwill be a destination fans will want to visit over and over again.