The NBA season, along with the new sneaker wars have already started, and Nike just fired a hellacious salvo.
On Wednesday night, Nike became the first advertiser ever to be the sole sponsor for ESPN's SportsCenter. For one hour, The LeBrons took over the popular sports show, showing several hilarious new ads from the fictional family that features the 'four sides of LeBron James', promoting the Nike Air Zoom LeBron IV.
The spots alone during SportsCenter would have been effective enough, but along with the buyout of the program's advertising, ESPN also ran a segment on LeBron, and invited viewers to go to ESPN.com to answer a poll question about the superstar. And, you guessed it, Nike has bought space for the campaign on ESPN.com as well.
The segment and poll question on LeBron airing during SportsCenter effectively resulted in Nike getting a pair of bonus 'product placements' for LeBron, which will translate in sales of Nike's new shoe the Nike Air Zoom LeBron IV.
But I'm wondering, is this another case of trying to blur the lines between fiction and reality, such as Sacha Baron Cohen appearing in character as Borat on Late Night With David Letterman? Could we next see 'Business LeBron'(one of the characters in The LeBrons commercials) appear on Letterman, or in the ultimate surreal moment, have Business appear in the next commercial for SportsCenter?
Either way, it's another marketing home-run for Nike, or in this case, a slam-dunk.