Feb 18, 2008
If I say insurance company spokesperson, who do you think of? Dennis Hayesbert? Nobody? Well, take your list and add LeBron James to it. Yes, that LeBron James. “Bron-Bron” has signed a sponsorship agreement with State Farm Insurance, the insurance company hoping he can help them corner the young adult policy holder market. More from USA Today,
“The relationship will be focused on helping connect our State Farm brand and products — particularly our auto and renters insurance — to a young audience in new and relevant ways.” said Pam El, State Farm’s vice president of marketing.
As part of its relationship, State Farm will use James in some commercials as well as at public appearances, El said.
Wow. Have to give Bron-Bron’s marketing team, LRMR Marketing & Branding, some credit for this sponsorship deal. Obviously, this isn’t your usual Nike/Upper Deck/Coca-Cola deal (LeBron has these in place already), this is a market that is basically untouched by the “athlete endorsement deal” and James & Co. were able to pull it off. Although I think this market is untapped with fairly good reason, as I think that most insurance companies would be pretty leery of using any young athlete, because the public usually perceives them as lawless and generally reckless, to hawk insurance of all things (Lets not bother bringing up the fact that James picked up a speeding ticket for driving 101 mph in December of 2007). It will be very interesting to see what happens going forward because this deal will be a great barometer of the branding power of LeBron James. This isn’t LeBron James selling shoes, or clothes, or some product that young people are already interested in purchasing anyway…this is LeBron attempting to sell insurance. Granted, insurance is an obvious necessity, but are young adults going to go with State Farm because they saw LeBron talking about State Farm’s lower premiums? Only time will tell.