He quenched our thirst with Sprite, kept us moving down the court with the latest Nikes, and just like a good neighbor he’s given us humorous State Farm insurance commercials (the brainchild of Black Music Month Power Player Steve Stoute). Now LeBron James is providing another surge of marketing energy all his own.
The Miami Heat star, along with business partner Maverick Carter and brand executives Warren Struhl and Jessie Itzler, recently announced the launch of Sheets, dissolvable energy-boosting strips through Purebrands, LLC. With the creation of Sheets, James and company, are set to be leaders in the untapped arena of energy delivery.
The edible, paper-thin strips, which James has made a part of his pre-game and half-time ritual during the NBA Finals, are easy to take, convenient and packed with caffeine and vitamins B and E. “It’s a portable product that can be taken anywhere. No refrigeration or water needed. Just put Sheets in your pocket and go,” says Struhl, who serves as the CEO of Sheets. “This is a new way of energy delivery and it works.”
Gathering scientists, doctors, athletes and trainers to create and test the strips, Struhl asked James and Carter—founders of LRMR Marketing—to join the innovative venture last year. According to Carter, partnering up made perfect sense. “LeBron would take vitamins and caffeine prior to games for an extra boost of energy,” he says. “One strip [of Sheets] will provide all of that.”
Carter also notes that the product isn’t just for athletes. “Sheets are for everyone,” he says. “Nurses, truck drivers, and moms—anyone who needs energy.”
Backed by a $10 million marketing campaign, Sheets kicked off its social media initiative with a viral video featuring Denver Nuggets’ player Danilo Galinari “taking a sheet,” which caught the attention of many potential customers. “We wanted to find a way that would reach our target audience and the formula was simple—create a great piece of content that’s hyper relevant to our consumers, and link that back to a social channel [on Facebook] where we could capture the people interested in our product,” Struhl says. “The response was terrific and the video has received over 250,000 views.”
Sheets will also rely on rappers Pitbull and Drake, New York Knick Amar’e Stoudemire, among other celebrities and athletes, to help market the product. Pitbull will assist in the brand’s Hispanic marketing efforts, while Amar’e will partner with Sheets to help with product development. “We’re really excited to tap into this emerging market,” Struhl says. “This is definitely the new way to do energy.” —Christina M. Tapper