You didn’t think the city that was originally at the center of the LJ23 sweepstakes was gonna be outdone, did you? Touted as “a chance for all of NYC to get together to show the world’s greatest athlete why he belongs in the world’s greatest city,” New York has launched the C’mon LeBron campaign, made up of the website, a Facebook fan page, and the Twitter hashtag #cmonlebron. I say, #cmonnewyork.
It’s great that all of these grassroots campaigns are popping up in the hopes of landing the most prized free agent in this year’s class, but how effective do they really think they can be? While New York’s site is so far the best of the bunch (and seemingly the only sanctioned and sponsored by the actual city), the fact remains that no website is going to sell the Global Icon on where to play. Diddy can offer all the free Sean John he wants, Mario Batali (who appears on the site) can offer gourmet meals every two weeks, Scores can offer free lapdances for life; not gonna change the fact that LeBron is making a business decision. And this business decision will not hinge on which city or group of fans offered the best website begging him to come.
NYC is in the middle of a budget shortfall; there are people with city jobs who have had to take pay cuts, and a lot of have lost their jobs. There was no better use for city funds than a website dedicated to the outside shot of convincing LeBron to play on a team that won’t be competitive for a few years? I dig that you have to spend money to make money, and LeBron does represent a sizable boost to the local economy wherever he lands, but whoever did the risk/benefit analysis on this one screwed the pooch. You’ve gotta pay someone to maintain the site, you’re paying something for the site to be hosted, and while you may see a kickback from the ad money, you might as well flush the rest of the expense down the toilet if he doesn’t sign with your squad.
A wise man told me not to speak in absolutes, so I’ll refrain from that, but the Knicks chances of signing LeBron are about the same as my chances of marrying Tyra Banks. What? I met Tyra, she actually told me that my name was pretty. Similarly, the Knicks have met LeBron, told him his game was a thing of beauty. We’re about on equal footing.
As we’re under a month from the start of the free agent signing period, there’s probably going to be a few more sites and ploys popping up to woo King James. My best advice to those cats would be to stop before they even start. All you’re doing is stroking James’ sizable ego, but it’s not making an impression on his thought process. You think he’s even visited any of the sites? I doubt he has. But there’s no way he doesn’t know they exist. So really, you’re essentially creating something that’s willfully ignored. Is that how you want your future relationship with your “basketball savior” to begin?
“Wow, LeBron, I can’t believe you signed here! I’m so geeked! You know I’m the one that was behind that website right?”
” … Security.”