And this PR girl could not be happier, but not because I give a CRAP about the Cavaliers or the horrendous NBA Eastern Conference. #GOSUNS! #WESTCOASTISTHEBESTCOAST
I am happy because, in my profession, truth and transparency guide our work. Our clients cannot “own” their message if it isn’t them. And we can’t brand something that isn’t real.
Today, with this announcement, James gets to be his real self again – a kid from Akron, Ohio with big talent and a big heart that is all about the team and family.
When he made the woeful Decision TV Special four years ago, James was frustrated with his situation, the media scrutiny and (according to most) at odds with a few teammates. He was told repeatedly how he was supposed to act and feel – like a star, championship-hungry, like the HBIC. In short – he needed to be Like Mike or Kobe.
What ensued was a comedy of PR errors…the Miami Heat “not one, not two, not three, not four” championship rant, the embarrassing “What Should I Do/Am I a Villain” Nike commercials…the NBA Championship loss to the decrepit Dallas Mavericks.
It was a joke. He was a joke to me. He was being fake.
James is a guy who married his high school sweetheart. James is a guy who has never been caught in a scandal off the court. James is a guy regularly seen in his hometown of OHIO rather than on South Beach in the off-season. James is a guy who plays with his kids on weekends and tweets about The University of Ohio Football games on the weekends. James is a guy who lives on the paleo diet and still does two-a-days in the off-season.
And now, with his return home, he gets to be all of those things again. All of those things he always was. All of those things the media, his PR team and we would not let him be – he gets to be himself.
And, no matter how many championships he wins (or doesn’t – because, come on, the Western Conference dominates), today is a huge win for him, the NBA and the importance of (re)building a brand based on truth.
Welcome home, King James.