Real-Time Reactions to Lebron James Return to Cleveland


Last week, Lebron James, arguably the best basketball player in the world, announced that after four years playing for the Miami Heat, he’d be taking his talents to Cleveland. James began his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and caused quite a bit of controversy when he left to join the Heat. When he declared his return to Cleveland, brands were quick to react. Some reactions were great, some were less so.

Brand Reactions to Lebron James’ Return to the Cavs

Beats by Dre

Beats By Dre

James is a spokesperson for Beats, and their reaction via Twitter was simple and elegant. Beats showed that the best real-time marketing doesn’t have to be flashy.


Progressive Reaction

Progressive’s Twitter reaction was a little more baffling. Progressive took the character Flo from their popular television commercials and created a photoshopped image of her cheering for the “Calves.” The attempt at humor falls flat and makes Progressive look somewhat desperate.



McDonald's Lebron James

McDonald’s is a brand that has had, at best, mixed success in social media marketing. Like Beats by Dre, they managed to craft a real-time message that was simple and to the point. They took James’ own words from his announcement “I’m coming home,” and crafted a message with deep emotional appeal.

The Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic Lebron James

How did Cleveland-based businesses react? The Cleveland Clinic- one of the largest employers in Cleveland, released a Facebook post connecting Lebron’s decision to anxiety. Is Lebron making you anxious? While the attempt to connect Lebron to the Cleveland Clinic’s content is smart and admirable, the connection does seem like kind of a stretch. Cleveland Clinic has a ton of content and probably could have found something that connected more directly with Lebron’s announcement.

The Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers

And of course, there was the reaction of the Cleveland Cavaliers themselves. Cleveland’s response to the announcement of Lebron’s return was simply “Welcome home, Lebron.”

For more real-time marketing tips, check out how DiGiorno pizza does real-time marketing.