Thursday, April 7, 2011

LeBron-Liverpool Partnership Will "Open Doors"

Liverpool's faithful- known as "The Kop"
Yesterday the news broke that an agreement had been reached that would create a partnership between two sports industry superpowers- NBA star LeBron James and Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC. The deal is presumably rooted in the desire on both parts to establish a more global brand. LeBron has never been shy about his ambitions to be successful off the court, and FSG's owners John Henry and Tom Werner saw an opening to create a partnership with symbiotic effects. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Werner took a minute to comment: "we believe we can open doors for LeBron and LeBron can open doors for us." This move is going to go way beyond your normal client-marketing firm relationship.

From a sports marketing perspective, it appears is brilliant on all ends. Just recently we've seen several celebrities try to align themselves with the beautiful game, from Ochocinco going on trial with Sporting KC to Steve Nash taking an ownership role with the Vancouver Whitecaps. Even Justin Bieber got in on the action recently when he trained with FC Barcelona. Tying himself to one of the most recognizable brands in all of sports will work wonders for LeBron, especially as Liverpool and LeBron both try to build on their growing fanbases in their biggest untapped market- China.

Justin Bieber playing in Barcelona, Spain
From the perspective of a Liverpool fan, I'm not sure how the other Reds supporters will react to the move. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing LeBron at Anfield wearing Liverpool red and perhaps even chiming in during the fans' rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone."

-Written by Dan Mullin

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