NBA Sponsor Samsung’s New LeBron TVC & YouTube Spot

Whilst his ‘The Decision’ free agency live TV show in 2010 generated a viscous backlash, it seems that his skill, his NBA rings and MVP awards, plus a glimpse into his private life via a two-minute Samsung spot, has seen LeBron James regain public affection and super charge is sponsorship portfolio.


New NBA sponsor Samsung has supercharged its basketball activation with a heartfelt, intimate and apparently authentic two-minute TV spot that offers a vignette of brand ambassador James’ personal life at home.


‘Always On’ is basically a ‘day in the life’ of LeBron James, his family, his team and his city, as the NBA’s biggest star prepares to defend his title in a new season (and it includes the player using a set of Samsung devices from its Galaxy Note 3 phablet to its GalaxyGear SmartWatch).



Impressively, according to the latest VideoWatch/VidIQ ranking of branded YouTube videos, last week the Miami Heat star’s spot for Samsung Mobile generated an impressive eight million views.


Indeed, since it was first loaded on YouTube at the end of October, the ad has now racked up 9,844,872 views.


In fact, LeBron James dominated YouTube last week, as his ‘Training Day spot (see previous case study) for Nike  was in third overall VidIQ position with two million views.


LeBron’s two big season tip off campaigns were only separated by a third basketball spot – the latest Pepsi Max ‘Uncle Drew’ clip (see previous case study) starring guard Kryie Irving (who plays for James’ former Cleveland Cavaliers team) which racked up five million plus views..


Extra footage in the form of an additional ‘At Home’ spot, featuring James and his family training and playing together (with the Samsung Galaxy family at their side of course), is also available online.



Viewers are driven online to ‘learn more about LeBron and join the movement’ and are directed towards the campaign Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SamsungMobileUSA.


The campaign is the first major piece of activation since Samsung’s new three-year sponsorship deal with the NBA was announced shortly before the start of the new 2013/14 season.


Reported to be worth around $100m, the partnership looks set to sit deep into the game. It stretches from the NBA, to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA Development League (NBA D-League)


A broad set of Samsung devices – from TVs and tablets, to mobiles and watches – will become NBA game day assets.


For example, the deal sees all NBA referees provided with Samsung tablets and will use Samsung technology courtside in all of the NBA’s stadiums so that they can review plays and make the right decisions.


The alliance also sees NBA content – such as daily recaps and game analysis – on Samsung devices.


The deal sees Samsung become the official NBA tablet, handset, and television provider. It is also the title partner of the NBA Summer League  (a showcase of the league’s most talented young players held every summer in Las Vegas), an associate partner of NBA All-Star Jam Session and an associate partner of 2014 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and the NBA Draft presented by State Farm.


The mobile, consumer electronics and computing giant is also the presenting partner of the NBA D-League Showcase and the title partner of the WNBA Performance Awards.


The partnership also includes brand broadcast presence too. With Samsung having presence on NBA national telecasts on ABC, ESPN, and TNT, plus on the NBA’s own digital properties (including NBA TV, NBA.com and NBA Mobile).


‘With this partnership Samsung and the NBA are committed to elevating the future of the game with innovative product and service solutions for the players, coaches, referees and fan,’ outlines Samsung Telco USA Chief marketing Officer Todd Pendleton.


‘With these new experiences players will be able to take their game to the next level while fans will be able to engage in new ways with their favourite teams and players.’


‘More than ever, NBA fans are connecting with our game across mobile devices, tablets, and televisions, and Samsung’s world-renowned products will bring them closer to the game,’ adds Mark Tatum, NBA Executive VP Global Marketing Partnerships.


‘Samsung’s extraordinary commitment across the NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League will impact our game both on and off the court.’


What better way for Asia’s biggest technology business to deepen its footprint in the USA than by pairing its mobiles, smartphones and tablets with the country’s top sportsman and exclusive, original NBA content?


This sports strategy follows Samsung’s similar contact and superstar deal with Jay-Z which revolved around the release of his latest album via an exclusive app on Samsung handsets (see previous case study).


Both alliances are evidence of the electronics company’s strategy of enhance the experience of its products through value added content.




Samsung Mobile Facebook Page



Samsung Mobile YouTube Page



Samsung Mobile USA Website



LeBron James Official Website



NBA Website




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