LeBron James - Training Day Commercial Skip to main content

The People’s King?

Be Like Mike. Bo Knows. We Must Protect This House. All were marketing campaigns that propelled their respective subjects from sports mainstays to transcendent cultural icons. With its’ latest spot entitled “Training Day” Nike is once again trying to strike sports marketing gold. The ninety-second spot features none other than the king himself, LeBron James, as a mob of his fans follow him throughout the city of Miami while he undergoes his offseason workout regiment. It is eerily reminiscent of Sylvester Stallone’s timeless Rocky scene, stopping just short of LBJ shadowboxing as a mob of children surround him while the screen fades to black. The spot didn’t do much for me; which is surprising considering I can’t call out any specific flaws from a technical standpoint. It is expertly shot, the accompanying soundtrack is on point – I even got the pleasure of seeing LeBron clank one off the rim – but one of the main knocks on LeBron has always been how detached he seems from the every man and, despite Nike’s best efforts, this didn’t change that for me. Even when he had comfortably reached GOAT status, Michael Jordan always seemed like the type of guy you could have a drink with, whereas LeBron comes across as the type who would be sneering down at you from the VIP section. As do most of his actions, the commercial seemed too glossy, too calculated to feel genuine. Call me biased because I’m a card-carrying LeBron hater, but I certainly won’t be rushing to place this in the pantheon of sports ad campaigns. Will you? Sidenote: the Nike “Freestyle” commercial? Sneaky the best sports spot of all time. [photo via The Urban Daily]