At one point or another we have all been witnesses. Scoring records shattered, no look passes, game winners at the buzzer, chalk in your face- hell, a gold medal anyone? There is no question that the recent announcement of LeBron James being unanimously voted as this season’s Most Valuable Player in the NBA comes as a surprise to anyone. We true believers knew it was just a matter of time.
So its no wonder Nike is paying homage to King James with an exclusive special edition release of Bron’s shoe, “The Six MVP Edition.” Those of you who watched last night’s Round 2, Game 1 victory over the Atlanta Hawks might have noticed the special edition t-shirt worn by countless fans as well. Meanwhile, on the hardwood, LeBron was wearing his size 15 versions of the shoe, and the press reported he’d never wear them during a game again.
This is not the first time LeBron and Nike have collaborated in this way. To get to the bottom of how the marketing machine works behind one of the world’s most prolific endorsers, I spoke with Rich Paul, Managing Partner of LRMR Marketing, the proverbial keepers of LeBron’s promotional kingdom.
WMW: You’ve been there since the beginning, how do you feel about LeBrons first MVP win?
RP: I think it’s great. He worked pretty hard. Once he got into the NBA and going forward he put the work in and cranked it out…It’s something I expected. Whether now or later, LeBron is very determined.
WMW: What are your thoughts on the evolution of LeBrons shoe line?
RP: This is kind of a trick question for me since I was so involved. We’ve made great progress through the years. We’ve been able to capture the vibe of the moment. Obviously, there’s a lot of luck involved. We really want to gather the likes and dislikes of the masses of LeBron fans and hold on to their attention. We want to keep that attention… spread throughout the market place.
WMW: What are some of your favorite Nike Campaigns?
RP: Little Penny of course.. I love the Patton, The Fun Police
WMW: What was your favorite that LeBron has been in?
RP: All of them… They are all good.
WMW: Who decided to do a special shoe?
RP: The Nike creative team. Special sneaks are created around the moment, usually to align with a campaign or advertisement.
WMW: How many are done for Bron each year?
RP: About 15
WMW: What are some examples of other special shoes?
RP: The Big Apple Edition, The St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Six for St. Patrick’s Day, All Star, The Easter Six
WMW: Do you have a favorite?
RP: The Big Apple
WMW: What happens to the shoes after the game?
RP: Some are donated to charity, others are given to Upper Deck as memorabilia.
WMW: What’s the next shoe you would like to see made?
RP: A Championship shoe.
The Shoes and shirt will be available at House of Hoops retailers and Nikestore.com