Tag: Maverick Carter

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six

Harvard business class takes a look at LeBron marketing


Bashing LeBron James the brand has become a national past time. Maverick Carter — James confidant and business manager — has taken almost as much incoming fire as LeBron the past year. Since the decision to take his talents south, LeBron’s popularity has plummeted and some marketing options have dried up. There are all sorts of questions about marketing LeBron long term.

Which makes his decisions an interesting case study. Which is why a Harvard business class took it up.

And LeBron was open to it — he and Carter helped out the class by answering questions and more, reports the Boston Globe.

James and his business partners happily cooperated with the research process, giving access and candid assessments of marketing choices, making the case study something of a page-turner….

The James case study focuses on three video game endorsement offers he received in late 2008. But the decision between Electronic Arts (EA), 2K Games, and Microsoft Xbox Live is really an avenue for exploring compensation models and the career life cycle of professional athletes.

James was able to take riskier, potentially more rewarding video game deal (developing a new game with Xbox) because he is both younger in his career arc and well compensated. Other athletes tend to go a more traditional marketing route.

James was not alone. The class has studied Lady Gaga’s marketing, Maria Sharapova, Tom Cruise, Radiohead and more. The idea is to look at decisions and marketing from a broad perspective and see what LeBron might learn from Lady Gaga.

It’s an interesting read and a smart chance for students to apply ideas in the real world, and for Carter to hear new perspectives. That broader thinking is what good agents bring to the table for stars, and it’s part of the reason many outside LeBron’s circle have questioned his choices.

How much did LeBron really have to do with “The Decision?”

Image (1) lebron_decision-thumb-250x191-15508.jpg for post 6206

“The Decision,” the now-infamous telecast that featured LeBron telling the world he was “taking his talents to South Beach,” made LeBron one of the most hated athletes in America. But did LeBron really deserve the blame for what turned into an hour-long fiasco for his image? Earlier today Deadspin’s Emma Carmichael, drawing on an excerpt from an upcoming book about ESPN, pointed out that LeBron may have been nothing more than a participant in something that was engineered by others:

[Jim] Gray was using Carter for access to his client, who in turn was using Emanuel for access and logistics. Emanuel was using both to get close to a superstar athlete and, as the Los Angeles Times put it, “poke a finger in the eye of a rival agency,” Creative Artists Agency (which counts LeBron as a client.)…

Gray complained that ESPN tried to wrestle some creative control of the idea he came up with away from him, and ESPN Executive VP of content John Skipper called the deal “his fault,” saying “I put it together, and then I turned it over and let those other guys execute it.”

The entire “Decision” fiasco was the result of a ludicrous political game involving Jim Gray, ESPN, Maverick Carter (who, to be fair, LeBron hand-picked to run the business side of his life), and Ari Emmanuel. But as Carmichael astutely notes, LeBron himself seems to actually have had very little to with the decisions that led to “The Decision”:

Maybe the most remarkable part of the section is that LeBron James, the man who was thrown in the stocks for the crime of committing bad television, is hardly mentioned at all. He was a prop in a pressed shirt. Gray’s job was to smile and nod on camera as the two orchestrators stood off-stage, as ESPN began its rapid retreat from the wreckage, and as we all watched in pathetic outrage. LeBron became the villain for something that, in the book’s telling, the suits had perpetrated. It was never his Decision to make.

“The Decision” will follow LeBron around for the rest of his career, fairly or unfairly, and we don’t know how it will ultimately effect his image and legacy. All we really know is this: LeBron is seven wins away from making “The Decision” and the resulting fallout a much smaller part of his public image than it is now.

LeBron now owns a mansion in Miami, with the wine cellar he always wanted

Screen shot 2010-12-09 at 8.23.47 AM

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was spending $9 million on a house I wanted to make sure it had a wine cellar and a place to park my yachts. Plural.

Check and check.

LeBron James new home in the Coconut Grove area has all that, according to the Miami Herald. We’ve told you about this place before, but the new article offers some details.

Such as it having the wine cellar, docks for two 60-foot boats, 12,178-square-feet of living space, water views from every room, a library, a home theater, an infinity pool with bar, a three-car garage and a guest house.

The cost was a cool $9 million and the home was officially purchased by Suite 823 Investments Florida LLC. As the Associated Press tells us, Suite 823 is the Cleveland headquarters of LRMR Marketing, James’ marketing company founded by himself and friend Maverick Carter.

Cleveland fans chant “traitor” at LeBron in Miami Restaurant

Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks

After the Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks for a fourth straight win Saturday, LeBron James and his best friend and manager Maverick Carter went out for dinner at Myles Chefetz’s Prime Italian in Miami. A regular Saturday night.

Well, it would have been except that also in the restaurant were about 30 Cleveland Brown fans, there getting drunk warmed up for the Browns game against the Dolphins Sunday. So let the wild rumpus start, as reported by the New York Post (via Ben Maller).

Chants of “traitor, traitor” echoed through the restaurant, so the Browns fans were asked to leave. But the Clevelanders hunt around outside the restaurant to continue to heckle James, forcing him to leave by sneaking out to his car.

Likely this taunting had about the same impact on James as the boos did in Cleveland when he dropped 38 on the Cavaliers.

Woman sues LeBron’s manager Maverick Carter in pendant battle

1 Comment

If you have the money to make a jewel encrusted pendant of your basketball jersey… well, maybe Biggie Smalls was right about money.

LeBron James’ business manager Maverick Carter is now being sued by VaNeisha Robinson, who is charging false imprisonment, according to TMZ.com (via FanHouse). The fact that this is on TMZ next to Mel Gibson stories tells you all you really need to know.

The tale goes like this: Robinson says she bought the pendant — a jewel encrusted LeBron Jersey that says “King” on it — for $5 at a garage sale. She said she thought it was costume jewelry, turns out it was real and worth $10,000 (cue Biggie). Nobody is totally buying her story, not Carter who said the pendant was stolen and not police, who investigated her for receiving stolen property. However, no charges were filed.

Robinson’s lawsuit claims that Carter told her he set up a meeting with her and James to buy the pendant back, but when she arrived it was a nine-person ambush and they held her in the house against her will until she gave up the pendant.

Now she wants $50,000 for both the “robbery” of the pendant and the mental anguish. Carter has filed court documents denying all allegations.

When do actual basketball games start? Next week? Doesn’t seem soon enough right now.