- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 1, 2006

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Nike has been getting creative in promoting its new LeBron James shoe, even going so far as to be the exclusive advertiser during an episode last night of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” program.

Promotional segments for the Nike Air Zoom LeBron IV received about 10 minutes of air time on ESPN as a lead-up to the NBA game between James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and the Washington Wizards.

The segments, known as the “The LeBrons,” feature James in costume as one of several characters featured in other Nike ads. Among the characters include “Business” — representing his entrepreneurial side — and a more “old-school” character named “Wise.”

In addition to the big exposure on ESPN, Nike has been purchasing widespread Internet advertising, including full-page ads on ESPN.com, MTV.com and NBA.com. Nike is also distributing 400,000 DVDs highlighting the shoes and the campaign, and the shoes receive top billing on Nike’s basketball Web site.

James’ seven-year contract with Nike, signed in 2003, is reportedly worth more than $90 million.

Tim Lemke

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