Top Miami Heat Player LeBron James Signs with Tencent
Hong Kong based Tencent, one of China’s most widely used internet providers, has signed star basketball player LeBron James to promote the Chinese version of NBA2K video games.
The announcement that James will feature in Chinese adverts and will provide creative input for the games coincided with Miami Heat taking on San Antonio Spurs in the third game of NBA championships.
Tencent is likely to get a nice return on their investment into celebrity endorsement but James is sure to benefit from widespread Chinese coverage too.
President of sport and entertainment marketing company GoViva Robert Tuckman said: “It could be bigger for LeBron than for Tencent”.
Thanks to the excellent Chinese exposure James is bound to receive his income from the Chinese market, where he already endorses Dunkin’ Donuts, is sure to increase. According to Forbes, in 2012 James earned $18 million from his basketball playing and more than double that, an estimated $42 million, from endorsements. Baker Street Advertising’s creative director Bob Dorfman commented: “The Chinese are enamoured with winners and guys with rings… LeBron’s [appeal in China] is gaining fast”