Very few professional athletes can raise the to level of star power that LeBron James has achieved. Throughout his basketball career, LeBron has elevated to the level of success that has not be seen since Michael Jordan played. To this day LeBron James has become a global phenomenon. Gracing the cover of ESPN at the age of 18-years-old, LeBron James is no secret to the spotlight. All his life, LeBron has been watched and scrutinized by the media and has been very cautious of his image throughout his career. However that all took a hit in the Summer of 2010.

We all remember it like it was yesterday. James was a free agent back in 2010 and was coming off a tough playoff loss to the Boston Cetlics. LeBron James made the tough the decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and to join forces with Dywane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. It wasn’t the decision that dented his image, but more so how it was handled by James.  LeBron James did the unthinkable by holding a 1 hour special titled “The Decision”. James would ultimately break the hearts of all of his fans in Ohio by announcing his decision to leave on national television. Many accused LeBron of being selfish and a narcissist. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert called the decision an act of “cowardly betrayal”.

(LeBron as a member of the Miami Heat)

However within the past year, LeBron James image has slowly but surely begun to improve. This in my opinion is because using this personality and attaching it to his image. LeBron James has used his Twitter and Instagram account to reveal his more fun side. In many videos and photos LeBron James is shown having fun and doing positive charity work. Even while playing on the court James is often seen goofing around on the bench and sideline during the game. LeBron James has taken his brand and brought life to it. This makes it easier for him to relate to others and it’s hard to hate someone who loves to have fun doing something that they love.

(LeBron James has use positively and humor to help heal some of his wounds)

The video provides an example of LeBron and his teammates doing their own parody of the Harlem Shake.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir2TdfSwH8g

One thing at all PR professionals can take anyway from LeBron is that it is important to remember to always focus on connecting with others. Rather than trying to convince someone to buy into your brand, make the extra effort to establish some rapport with your target audience. It comes off as more authentic and it improves your brand’s image.

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