Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it won't renew its marketing contract with NBA superstar LeBron James. A two-year partnership was effectively ended. LeBron James and Microsoft Corporation have lost their Internet connection.
It is obscure that Microsoft didn't activate the partnership once they signed James. The decision to partner with him in the first place was strange. But it's even sillier to spend money to bring him on board and then fail to have him do anything aside from a few commercials.
The cooperation of Microsoft with LeBron James only led to one major project. It was a Web site geared toward children and teens. It was issued in 2007 throughout All-Star weekend in Las Vegas. The site of James at lebron.msn.com has been shut down. In addition, lebronjames.com was also vacant, he was temporarily left without a personal Web site.
His first appearance for Microsoft was in a cameo role. He was included in TV ads for the release of its Windows Vista operating system in early 2007. The cooperation faltered when Microsoft executive Joanne Bradford, who struck the deal with James, resigned as head of the company's MSN media network this year.
Microsoft affirmed the split with James. Although it did not give any details, saying the company is looking forward to evaluating future projects with him. James was the first NBA player that Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft used in order to advertise its products.
It's unclear if the economic downturn had any effect on Microsoft's relationship with James. The company also reported it is going to cut marketing expenses and take other measures to trim operating expenses by $400 million to $500 million (300 million Euros to 400 million Euros) over the fiscal year. Microsoft's stock hit a one-year low last week, while James's stock has never been higher.
Currently, the URL has been shunted into the GoDaddy parking lot. It seems to resemble part of the Arizona desert. They store all those unwanted 747s there.
The problem was that Microsoft could never really decide what to do with LeBron. To get him a decent point guard and to power forward, even if they had to rename them Ballmer and Gates. That would have been great sponsorship.
NBA star LeBron James leaves Windows Vista
A marketing contract including LeBron James and Microsoft is ended
A basketball star LeBron James ends marketing partnership with Microsoft