“Walking into a goldmine…”

Northern Brewing Co. in Ohio are currently embroiled in a situation where superstar LeBron James coincidently promoted their brand.


Cleveland Cavaliers basketballer, LeBron James, is one of the most marketable sportsmen in the world today,  accumulating a net worth of around $470Million. Currently, he is playing in the NBA Playoffs, a high stake series that is broadcasted to millions of viewers throughout America and the world.

During the first game of the second round in the series, a spontaneous moment occurred which saw James fouled, when he proceeded to run to the sidelines and interact with one of the courtside workers who was holding a particular brand of beer.

What has followed has been an interesting series of events, which sparked media attention after the beer company, Great Lakes Brewing Co., used social media to link LeBron with the company, digital output that has since been deleted.

James has already made it known that he is very particular with the brands and companies that he chooses to promote. A similar tweet that Northern Brewing Co. used with LeBron would normally cost a company around $2 Million.

Some sceptics have questioned whether this was, in fact, unplanned, but James put those rumours to bed after questioning why such marketing techniques were used on him, post-game.

One of the challenges is when you attach a person of his magnitude to a brand, it is a significant investment. It is important for digital marketers to understand that attention does not always bring credibility.

Do you think that it will be beneficial for Northern Brewing Co. in the long run, or do you think that this spontaneous moment will be damaging for the brand? Or have you seen something similar happen in another situation, whether it is sport or entertainment? I’d love to know what you think!


2 thoughts on ““Walking into a goldmine…”

  1. Really interesting! It would almost be like a free endorsement but in this case I don’t think anyone could make out the beer, I think it was more advertisement for himself (and his sense of humour). I don’t Lebron would or should be too fussed about Northern Brewery using this, unless the brand was specifically shown.


  2. I think for a major sporting personality like LeBron, he has to be careful what organisations he promotes. Although it was very harmless what he did, if NB used the situation to promote themselves, the people who look up to LeBron could be vulnerable to unfaithful organisations. A relative case study for all digital marketers out there i think, highlighting how careful they have to be when promoting themselves online.


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