Thursday, June 3, 2010
Updated: June 4, 4:00 PM ET
New York campaign courts LeBron
ESPN.com news services
LeBron James is the Big Apple of New York's eye, and the city is pulling out all the stops to let him know.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is part of a group that launched a promotional campaign to convince the free agent to play for either the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets.
"New York City is fit for a king -- there's no better place in the world to live, to play or to win," Bloomberg said in a statement. "New Yorkers want LeBron to come to the greatest city in the world, and we're launching the C'mon Lebron campaign to capitalize on their energy and creativity in making their own cases for why he should choose New York. There are terrific cities all over the country, but none match the excitement of the greatest City in the world."
Street ads and online promotions will feature New Yorkers and celebrated public figures trying to convince the Cleveland Cavaliers star to choose New York when free agency begins July 1. C'mon LeBron T-shirts will be distributed in the city, while messages will appear on taxis and in Times Square. The website cmonlebron.com carries the group's message.
"In addition to the obvious impact LeBron James would bring to the court, his generosity and philanthropic goals will leave a lasting impression on the lives of many New York City youth," said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, which is co-sponsoring the campaign. "As strongly as we feel that a global icon like LeBron deserves to play in a place like New York City, we would be equally as honored and excited to welcome him for what he would bring to our community beyond the world of sports."
The launch comes on the same day that a group in Chicago started the website SendLeBrontoChicago.com and unveiled a billboard imploring James to sign with the Bulls.