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Friday, November 18th, 2011 at 10:10 am  |  7 responses

LeBron James Worked With Harvard Business School on Marketing Research


LeBron James (along with other major celebs) let Harvard Business School students dissect their marketing and branding choices, as part of a case study. From the Boston Globe: “For 80 minutes, students discuss James and his brand, and debate his best marketing opportunities. By making James a case study, the course provides a compelling lesson in what can determine success or failure in the volatile world of celebrity marketing. ‘When Harvard Business School approached us for a case study, it was a ‘wow’ moment,’ said Maverick Carter, a childhood friend and business partner of James. 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 Miami Heat forward is but one study subject. Others include Lady Gaga, Real Madrid, Maria Sharapova, the NFL, Tom Cruise, and Radiohead. The course gives students virtual backstage passes to Hollywood, to the highest levels of European soccer, to arena concert tours, to all the important places where the cult of celebrity reigns and represents potential revenue. ‘I’m trying to uncover the common concepts across different creative industries, synthesize the knowledge that exists for one area, and see how it applies to others,’ said professor Anita Elberse, a student favorite. ‘You can look at Lady Gaga and LeBron James and explore what concepts hold true for both; it’s really not about what decision the protagonists in the cases ultimately made. Very often there is no right or wrong decision. It’s much more about the underlying phenomena.’”

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  • floe

    bunch of 19 year old creating a mock study ? hoohaa! maverick carter is a grade A moron.

  • http://www.nba.com/2011/news/features/steve_aschburner/10/27/lockout-q-and-a-kevin-murphy/index.html Allenp

    Man, that was an interesting story.
    If you read it, the woman who runs the class is some sort of marketing superstar. She had them breakdown the merits of his decision to trade lower upfront fees for residuals. You know, like what the smartest and most successful Hollywood stars do. Like what Keanu Reeves did with the Matrix.
    It’s the way to make long money, but it means risking short money up front.

  • jono

    I know a bunch of kids who are academically very poor but have parents who bankroll their way to them having in a dorm room at harvard business school. The thought of those guys doing the research sends shudders down my spine….

  • Saku 39

    This is an easy course. “Marketing the NBA after the lockout”, now that’s a tough course.

  • http://wikipedia.org Eddie1

    @jono that’s why the only school that is worth its name in salt is Illuminati State University. Forever yours, Eddie Assistant Professor of NBA Predictions

  • shutupallenp

    @allenp George Lucas did it with the star wars franchise too, samething with the promoters of woodstock, except they ended up falling short of funds and had to sell their interest to a hollywood studio.

  • Sai

    Now this is what i call cool!!!

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