Since switching teams from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat, basketball star LeBron James has faced his critics head on with a new Nike campaign called “Rise”, also commonly referred to by its tagline: ‘What Should I Do?’. The 90-second video debuted on YouTube on 25 October, and aired the next evening on the TV channel TNT.
This marks the second time this year that Nike and their agency Wieden + Kennedy have launched campaigns surrounding controversial celebrity endorsers. The first campaign featuring Tiger Woods dragged Nike's Buzz score down in the first half of 2010.
The most recent campaign featuring LeBron James follows suit. Since its debut in October, Nike’s Buzz score for men aged 18 to 49, dropped from this year's high score of 35.9 down to 12.8, putting rival Adidas ahead with a score of 17.8.
Despite a repeat of Buzz backlash, Nike’s Index score, which reflects overall brand health, has been in solid shape and on the rise since mid-October. Despite poor Buzz performance, Nike’s investment in LeBron is paying dividends in the form of elevated Impression and Quality scores since late October.