LeBron James’ return: Saturday’s front page of The Plain Dealer pic.twitter.com/h8KFb6UAPX
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) July 11, 2014
Oh hey, Internet. Are you done reading LeBron’s press release/Sports Illustrated guest column/personal “let’s get back together” letter to Cleveland yet?
We will fully admit to our own general ignorance of sports right now, but from a PR perspective the dude does have a way of making the world hold its breath while he manages the message, doesn’t he?
Now let’s see how the web responded.
First, though: a just-published AdAge report notes that “Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Lee Jenkins helped Mr. James write the essay” literally last night and that the mag didn’t let any of its advertisers know about what will almost surely be the biggest traffic driver in recent history. Quite the scoop.
If you want to read some serious analysis about how LeBron’s announcement was “sincere” and “heartfelt” because it wasn’t on TV, look no further than Slate.
In the meantime, let’s round up some tweets.
Here’s an accurate summary of media coverage:
ESPN for the next two weeks LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron 5 seconds about The World Cup LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron
— Best Drunk Tweets! (@CauseWereDrunk) July 11, 2014
CNN currently has two political strategist discussing LeBron James because God is dead.
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) July 11, 2014
That’s not true, though:
If you love LeBron James, set him free. If he returns to your city, it means he’s yours forever. (Or that Dwyane Wade is over the hill.)
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) July 11, 2014
Which might explain how the people of Cleveland knew ahead of time…
— Mike Hayes (@michaelhayes) July 11, 2014
Miami isn’t taking the news too well:
— WPLG Local 10 Sports (@Local10Sports) July 11, 2014
…but some celebrities are:
Drake be like…. pic.twitter.com/ilqKX1V5N5
— Sheila Mikailli (@sheilamikailli) July 11, 2014
…and Cleveland has apparently “forgiven” and forgotten.
LeBron James — ‘FOR6IVEN’ Shirts Explode … Website Breaks from Traffic Eruption http://t.co/ZuiJ1ae6ML
— TMZ (@TMZ) July 11, 2014
But on the real-time marketing front, how did brands respond?
— KFC (@kfc) July 11, 2014
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) July 11, 2014
…and the PhotoShop, too!
Pat Riley should have brought Whataburger to that meeting with Lebron #LebronToCavs
— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) July 11, 2014
We’ve got a good recipe for a #Cavalier, too: – 1oz gold tequila – 1/2 oz herbal liqueur – 2oz mandarin juice – 1oz whipped cream
— Drizly (@Drizly) July 11, 2014
LeBron James is returning to Cleveland. Lesson: Stick with what works, like Cottonelle TP and Flushable Wipes
— Cottonelle (@cottonelle) July 11, 2014
Everyone repeat after us: “ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!”
— Sherwin-Williams (@SherwinWilliams) July 11, 2014
See, that was clever.
if only you would have signed with *us*, king james, if only. we coulda been a contender, we coulda been somebody…
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) July 11, 2014
Did we miss something?
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) July 11, 2014
Oh look, a three-month-old ad.
— Firestone Auto Care (@FirestoneAuto) July 11, 2014
Shameless. We like! On the completely unrelated side:
Inspired by LeBron, George tries to reunite w/ an ex he dumped. She slaps him J:”He’s the LeBron of basketball.You’re the LeBron of nothing”
— Modern Seinfeld (@SeinfeldToday) July 11, 2014
Finally–in case you thought this was a strictly Western phenomenon:
Nba2k15 team: Cleaveland! #ReturnOfTheKing
— Sony Philippines (@SonyPHinc) July 11, 2014
That’ll do, Twitter. That’ll do.