LEBRON TO THE LAKERS: A MOVE WITH A DIFFERENCE

Basketball’s biggest star LeBron James is leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time, after announcing a move to the LA Lakers. Using his player option to opt-out of the final year of his contract, he revealed on July 1st that he’s signed a four year deal worth $154 million.

LeBron’s first stint with the Cavs came between 2003 and 2010, when his tenure ended in controversial circumstances thanks to the decision to announce his move to Miami Heat on a national television special. Writing in an open letter, team owner Dan Gilbert called the move a “cowardly betrayal” and insisted that the Cavs would win a championship before LeBron did at Miami.

However, the social media era seems to have made this move different. LeBron announced the move through an Instagram Story, using an image of himself celebrating with fans and the words: “thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons. This will always be home.”

Noting the difference, Alex Wong write for The Atlantic: “Four years [after rejoining], James’s loyalties to Cleveland can’t be disputed. Even as he pursues a new course in Los Angeles, playing for one of the most storied franchises in all of professional sports, he’ll be able to maintain his ties to Northeast Ohio, both through his work with the foundation and through the legacy he has left behind on the basketball court.”

Read the rest of The Atlantic article here.

 

FEDERER SWAPS NIKE FOR UNIQLO

The shocks at this year’s Wimbledon began ever before a single ball has been struck as Roger Federer announced that he has signed a deal with clothing company Uniqlo.

Understood to be worth around £228m across the next 10 years, the agreement brings an end to over two decades of partnership between Federer and Nike. The Swiss legend first signed with the company in 1994.

“I was excited to wear Uniqlo today,” Federer said after beating Dusan Lajovic. “I must tell you, it’s been a long time coming. I felt very good out there. It’s also crucial to play well, so it was helpful.”

Federer’s outfit lacked his famous ‘RF’ logo, which is still owned by Nike, but he said he and his team are working on regaining the rights to it.

“The RF logo is with Nike at the moment, but it will come to me at some point. I hope rather sooner than later, that Nike can be nice and helpful in the process to bring it over to me. It’s also something that was very important for me, for the fans really.”

Find out more on the BBC

 

SPONSORSHIP’S COMING HOME

With England’s World Cup campaign going better than most expected, marketers and sponsorship experts are starting to wonder what the lasting effects of it will be off the pitch.

The success of Gareth Southgate’s team has seen a wave of optimism sweep across the country, with social media in particular filled with videos of celebrating fans and memes covering everything from ‘Three Lions’ to Southgate’s likelihood of lending you 50p for a can of Sprite.

The likeability, accessibility and youth of the side has helped generate this appeal, and Campaign have looked at how those attributes will factor into sponsorship decisions going forwards.

“There’s a good story growing around England, with Southgate and Harry Kane front and centre,” says Cake managing partner Richard Gillis. “Both men have the valuable attribute of appearing genuinely nice, decent people which helps mitigate the risk usually associated with personal endorsement deals.”

Of how brands can react, Iris group planning director Ben Milligan added: “The big moments no longer happen when brands, organisers and publishers want them to, they’re atomized, unpredictable and the discourse around them is out of their hands.

“It’s no longer a game where the biggest, most frequent or financed voice out-shouts the rest and ‘wins’ the World Cup. It’s no longer about World Cup ads but World Cup acts – the winners will be those who take part, putting people and human stories first.”

Read the rest of the story on Campaign

 

DAZN WINS SERIE A RIGHTS

DAZN has won the rights to stream Serie A matches from next season in a deal that marks the first time a service dedicated solely to streaming has broadcast the Italian league.

114 Serie A matches per season will be shown as part of the three year contract. This includes a Saturday evening match, two Sunday matches and three exclusive matches when there are midweek fixtures.

Sky Sport Italia will also screen games as part of their side of the deal, which includes a much larger package of 226 matches.

“The sport industry is ripe for disruption,” said James Rushton, DAZN CEO. “Consumer behaviour has been transformed by technology, with streaming becoming the new norm for viewing content.

“DAZN suits the changing needs of today’s sports fans. Since launching almost two years ago, we have disrupted the industry in multiple markets as we change the way the world sees sport,”.

“Our entry into Italy with Serie A rights is the first of many announcements we expect to make in the coming weeks as we reveal a range of premium domestic and international sports rights to create a multi-sport offering that is accessible, affordable and lives up to our fans first philosophy.”

 

GOOD SHOUT