Nike Chairman Calls LeBron James’ Return to Cleveland ‘a Great Story’

by June 18, 2015

The prodigal son returned, but he couldn’t quite deliver a championship to the city of Cleveland.

Still, LeBron James’ decision to re-join the Cavs was great for business. Just ask Nike.

Phil Knight, the Swoosh’s chairman, was at The Q for Game 6 of the NBA Finals and says even though LeBron came up short, his odyssey was still riveting (and profitable) theater.

Per the NEOMG:

“Yeah, we don’t suggest he goes any place, but I thought it was a great story,” Knight said. “He came back because he was coming home. I think that’s a great story any time.”


Nike’s business soared with James back in Cleveland for the first time since 2010. In March, it was reported that sales for James’ signature basketball shoe with Nike rose 13 percent over a 12-month period to $340 million. […] Also, in October Nike released its “Together” ad, a widely celebrated commercial that commemorated James’ return to northeast Ohio released to coincide with his return debut at The Q to start the season.


“What we tried to do is show the true emotion of sports in the city,” Knight said. “The ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy, has worked so closely with us that it’s almost second nature now, they understood what it meant to be coming back here and they wanted to show it and we were really, really happy with the result.”