Nobody, I mean nobody, does sporting soap opera quite like you Americans.
That whole LeBronathon last night had it all: the egocentric sporting superstar talking of himself in the third person; cities (well bars (ok, a bar) within various cities) waiting for his decision; the superstar’s hometown humiliated; residents of hometown burning superstar’s jersey; owner of superstar’s team going ballistic via emails written in Comic Sans – and this is just the start of it.
I’m obviously just a limey import that happens to reside in a Cleveland suburb, and couldn’t really give a hoot about hoops, but as a sports fan this was/is one sorry episode to witness.
But, there’s a curious ‘social media take away’ from the Dan Gilbert letter. There’s one school of thought that states business owners and CEOs should be more transparent and passionate, which he most certainly is, and avoid the PR spin cycle. (On the surface of it, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he fired his letter off in a fit of perplexed pique, but a little bird told me that it actually went through the PR department – what the original included is anyone’s guess!)
The other school of thought suggests waiting to hit the send button to avoid coming across like a deranged, classless clown who’s just seen his team’s worth plummet 50% in 50 minutes.
However, all you need to know is who this letter is written to and who it’s for – Cleveland Cavalier fans who are holding LeBron jersey burning parties the length and breadth of North East Ohio.
They may have loved it.
It was also a great bit of theater to have supplemented by twitter and facebook – some of the snark was top class.
It’s also pretty amazing Twitter managed to hold itself together under the weight of the global announcement otherwise known as ‘The Decision’. Twitter has failed during the most innocuous of games in the World Cup. I wonder how much of a coincidence it is API calls were halved sometime near the beginning of the tournament.
Also, Twitter recently proclaimed itself to be the second largest search engine all of a sudden with 25 billion searches a month to Google’s 88 billion.
And yes, those twitter numbers are nearly as inflated as King James’ ego. You can read as to why here in the WSJ.
The only credit I’m handing out is to MSFT for having the sense to advertise bing on ESPN last night during LeBron’s humbling of himself.
After all, it is ‘The Decision Engine’.