Lebron James Website vs Chris Bosh Website - Two Distinct Styles
Lebron Website Carries Extended ESPN Interview | Chris Bosh Website Thanks Toronto - Contrasting Online Communication Strategies
Now that it seems everyone is dumping on LeBron James from the jersey burnings, to the poster removals it is instructive to look at the Lebron James official website and compare it to the Chris Bosh official website.
In terms of public break ups with a city Chris Bosh handled his break up with Toronto with a greater grace than LeBron James handled his break up with Cleveland - granted LeBron is more profile, had a deeper connection with the city and so on.
But focus if you will on the subtle things for a moment like their respective websites.What does Chris Bosh do prominently on his home page? Thank Fans of Toronto, thanks the management of the Raptors, and thanks the entire city of Toronto.
"I just want to thank you guys for one of the best experiences of my life."
From a web communication perspective Chris Bosh got it right - the tone of the writing was and humble and gracious with the full message of thanks to Toronto visible on the most prominent left hand side of the home page. And then he goes on to acknowledge his new home in Miami on the right hand side - a simple effective splash page.
Now take the web site for Lebron James instead of delivering a simple elegant splash page the user is greeted by his ESPN video interview from Thursday - an extended one no less.
There is a thank you, of sorts...
Next year, I will be playing for The Miami Heat. I would like to thank all of my fans for supporting me and I am looking forward to seeing you guys next season as I chase the NBA Championship
There is no mention of thanking Cleveland, no mention of thank the Cavaliers franchise, and most critically no mention of thanking the Cleveland fans.
To be fair to Lebron he does thank the city and the fans of Cleveland during the ESPN interview, but in the same breadth he talks about how much he has done for city (agreed buy no need to say it).
When it come to web communication it is about immediate impressions and that is where the Lebron James website falls flat.
What Lebron should have done and maybe still could do (although it could be too late) is to do a video speaking directly into the camera without anyone (ie no ESPN's Jim Grey) interviewing him.
An unfiltered direct to camera address would change the tone of the video (an opportunity to leverage Youtube here as well) and the Lebron James website - a video unfiltered and authentic with LeBron talking to the fans directly.
Instead by displaying the ESPN extended interview no less, so prominently LeBron James is only extending and reinforcing the antagonism of Cleveland and its fans towards him.
Plus, in this case the Bing sponsorship does not help,only reinforcing the corporate nature of the LeBron brand and detracting from what was needed - a personal message from LeBron.
From an online brand management perspective it is the wrong strategic thing to do, and more importantly it shows a remarkable disregard for a city that celebrated him for seven years, and a state that LeBron calls home.