A Year Later, Polls Show LeBron Still Hasn't Recovered
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
A year ago, LeBron "took his talents to Miami" on ESPN's "The Decision" show and the positive perception of the NBA star fell off a cliff. So, where are we now, a season later with of course a missed chance at a title?
For that, we went to the folks at the Davie-Brown Index, who have provided us with marketing scores for James from before "The Decision" until after the season ended.
The results are pretty mind blowing.
On a poll taken on May 24, 2010, 71.5 percent of people found James appealing with almost 70 percent of people saying they'd perhaps be swayed by his endorsement of a product. About 56 percent of people, at the time, said they would trust him.
In a poll taken just days after the decision (7/11/10), James' appeal dropped by more 11 percent, his endorsement appeal by two percentage percent and trust plummeted by more than three percent. DBI took eight more polls of the public and how they felt about James.
James' appeal had climbed back up somewhat to almost 63 percent by May 24, 2011, his endorsement was holding steady and his trust was showing improvement.
But all that plummeted when the poll was taken after the Finals. James was criticized for not showing up in the fourth quarter and for looking down on people who criticized him. DBI's poll taken on June 19, shows that LeBron's appeal was at the lowest it has ever been (57%) and that his trust was hovering at all-time lows (48.87 percent).
It's debatable as to whether this has hurt LeBron's business. Nike said last month it sold more than 500,000 pairs of his signature shoes this past year and he was, after all, the NBA's most popular jersey.
Many of LeBron's defenders bring up the fact that "The Decision" show was for charity, with proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Club. In a Twitter poll I took today, and 424 people voted in, 92.7 percent said that didn't change the way the thought about LeBron.
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