2014. It was the year of LeBron James in commercials. From James cooly pulling up to a red carpet event in a luxury Kia to working out while listening to music through his Beats by Dre headphones, we look at some of the top commercials starring King James.
Back in July, James told Sports Illustrated in a first-person essay that he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Months later, Nike released a black-and-white video featuring the basketball star and his teammates. The two-minute video felt like a love letter to the city of Cleveland. “We got to do it for Cleveland,” James told to his teammates in a huddle. Throughout the video, James was heard reminding his teammates why it was so important to play hard. “We got to give it all back to them. The whole city of Cleveland,” James said. And, it looks like Nike has helped with such a powerful advertisement. Back in 2003, James signed a seven-year, $90 million agreement with Nike before even being drafted by the Cavaliers.
On Dec. 25, Christmas Day, basketball fans probably saw the Kia commercial starring King James. The dapper baller cooly stepped out of Kia’s 2015 luxury sedan after pulling up to a red carpet event. We all wanted to take the seemingly magnificent vehicle for a spin. It was a great commercial starring James who pocketed $60,000 just for driving the car, reported ESPN.
Beats by Dre
Similar to Nike, the headphone company decided to piggyback off James’s decision to move back home to Cleveland. In the workout video, James was listening to music as his mother Gloria James was heard dishing wisdom: “Don’t forget where you came from, ever,” she reminded the talented star. It’s obvious James did not. The Cleveland star has the words “Akron Est. 1984” inked on his body. This year, he added a reportedly $11 million to his basketball income for simply promoting the headphones.
In line with Nike, Beats by Dre, Sprite was another endorser who decided to bankroll on James’s big summer news. The soda brand worked with city officials to turn Patterson Park, which hadn’t been updated in more than 20 years, into a blank canvas for New York urban artist Futura to transform, according to the company. James collected around $42 million from endorsements alone this year. Read about other athlete’s big endorsement deals.