LeBron goes digital

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US basketball star LeBron James, through his production company, Spring Hill Productions, and Believe Entertainment Group have announced they will launch a new, original animated series exclusively for the web entitled 'The LeBrons', a family entertainment show designed to provide positive messages to today's youth.

A portion of proceeds from the series will be used for the purchase of HP computers powered by Intel Core processors, to be donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in support of its education initiatives. Believe Entertainment Group, a New York–based digital entertainment company, will finance, sell and distribute the 10–episode digital series and partner with LeBron James and Spring Hill Productions on sales and all business efforts for the show, including engaging brands and delivering the show to James' massive social network and LeBronJames. com. The LeBrons will live on a YouTube channel at youtube. com/thelebrons and will be heavily promoted and distributed through LeBron's Facebook and Twitter channels as well as a dedicated section of LeBronJames. com; additionally, the show will be syndicated across targeted sites on the web through Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG). The characters in the show will feature Nike's Young Athletes footwear and apparel. HP and Intel will be lead technology sponsors of the series. Physical production for The LeBrons will be managed by Dru Dog Productions, and the show is slated to launch in early 2011. As LeBron's first foray into digital entertainment, The LeBrons will have plenty of humour, fun and wit, and is also designed to relay a series of positive messages in every episode that stem from a problem faced by modern families, or a current social event. The show will tackle a wide variety of subjects, including family, teamwork, friendship, giving back to the community, staying in school, staying out of trouble, and more, all done in an edgy, fresh and relatable way. " 'The LeBrons' provides me with an opportunity to reach kids through entertaining and meaningful messages about how important it is to do well in school, respect their parents and friends, and be involved in the community, " said LeBron James. " This is a great way to show youths of all ages how to be a good person, no matter what their circumstances are, and by launching it online I'll be able to reach everyone who follows me on the Internet, especially LeBronJames. com, Twitter and Facebook. I'm so excited for 'The LeBrons' to start, and I can't wait to watch it with my family. " LeBron's online community is highly active; he boasts over 4. 8m 'likes' on Facebook, and has generated more than 1. 2m followers on Twitter within his first several months on the service. With this engaged audience in mind, Believe Entertainment Group has created unique ways for advertisers to get involved with The LeBrons through brand integration and sponsorship, which will include custom animation and exclusive partnerships with the show. " LeBron's fans are just as active on the Web as they are in the stands, " said Dan Goodman, co–founder of Believe Entertainment Group. " By tapping into LeBron's massive social network we're addressing the audience on their terms and how they want to watch. " Co–founder Bill Masterson added: " As LeBron delves into the online world through the series, we're excited to help him interact with his fans in new ways. LeBron is a mega–star, yet he is also relatable to his fans, down to earth, and full of creative ideas that will help make his message resonate with audiences of all ages. " " As lead technology sponsors, HP and Intel provided technology enabling the development and production of the show. From an Intel perspective, the series logically coincides with the company's recent announcement of the 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family, which delivers a rich, immersive, visual experience for consuming digital media such as The LeBrons, " according to Mark Vaiciulis, Intel senior marketing manager. The idea for the creation of the show began with a series of Nike television commercials introducing four characters that represent four different sides of LeBron James' personality: KID, WISE, BUSINESS and ATHLETE. LeBron decided to create the new series loosely based on these characters, told through the point of view of KID, that will take place in Akron, OH, LeBron's hometown. The neighbourhood will be a character itself, as it depicts LeBron's real life childhood stomping grounds and serves as the nurturing but sometimes difficult backdrop of youth trying to find their way in the world. In addition to The LeBron Family characters, the show will introduce a host of all new friends and supporting cast. With outrageous storylines and flawed, relatable characters, the series will provide entertainment content that can be enjoyed by both parents and kids alike.

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