Less than five hours from now, LeBron James will tell ESPN, on its hour special called “The Decision,” what team he is going to.
As part of the deal with ESPN, James’ business team, LRMR Marketing, was given ad inventory to sell.
They sold co-presenting sponsorships to the University of Phoenix and Bing, with McDonald’s and Sprite also having commercials in the show.
James’ team isn’t saying how much in total was raised, but Maverick Carter, CEO of LRMR, did say on Thursday afternoon that more than $2 million in net proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club of America. Vitaminwater and Nike also contributed in the charitable effort.
“LeBron’s decision has generated an incredible amount of interest, and we decided to make his announcement on national television,” Carter said, in a statement. “We are donating the proceeds from the program, totaling $2.5 million, to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America…LeBron has a longstanding commitment to giving back to the community and has worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs in cities across the country.”
James will make his announcement on show from the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
“Boys & Girls Clubs of America is grateful to LeBron James for his choosing Boys & Girls Clubs as the beneficiary of the generous support generated by his exciting announcement ,” the non-profit group said, in a statement.
“At Boys & Girls Clubs, our slogan is "Great Futures Start Here," because of the life-changing, character-building guidance and mentorship that clubs provide to young people. As LeBron James announces the game plan for his "Great Future," we are delighted to partner with him, and on behalf of all our children and teens in Clubs nationwide, we wish him the very best in the years ahead.”
Update: Mark Dowley, a partner at William Morris Endeavor, who put the show idea together with Maverick Carter, told CNBC that two companies, University of Phoenix and Bing, got the most ad time (2 minutes). University of Phoenix donated its ad time to the Boys & Girls Clubs. None of the other companies with ads are running any new creative specific to LeBron. Dowley did say, contrary to what ESPN had said yesterday, that LeBron won't announce what team he is going to within the first 15 minutes of the show.
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