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“God and Gloria THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving me life! I promise I’ll continue to make the both of you proud of me!”, a simple message Lebron James conducts to his twitter feed that carries a deeper meaning. Lebron is considerably one of the most iconic athletic figures of this generation. His transition to the National Basketball Association from high school is only one of the many phenomena he has provided the world to witness. He grew up in Akron, Ohio in an underdeveloped community only having his mother as a support. It was during his upbringing where he used his athleticism to persevere and win national titles for his high school. This brought him close national media recognition to later follow up on his journey and amazing career. His journey is what fuels him every day to outperform the rest of his competitors. This fuel is the consistent theme that seems to be present in his twitter feed. Words of inspiration, retweets of amazing personalities and stories, and the continuing fight to support collegiate athletes and the younger generation are all the ingredients to an inspirational feed.
As an athlete, it is without a doubt that Lebron James is one of the most prestigious and legendary the world has ever seen. He is a natural born leader and one that many tend to follow. His achievements as a professional basketball player are astronomical, he has won the “National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player Award four times, three NBA Finals MVP Player awards, and two Olympic gold medals. James has also been in 15 NBA All-Star Games and was the MVP All-Star MVP three times”. This is just a condensed list of his overlong accomplishments, as he has dominated the sport since his teen years. He is credible in every way when referring to the sport of basketball. This is a big reason why his primary audience of athletes favorite and retweet his posts on twitter. An example of this is his September 12th post showing a picture of his new basketball shoeline collaboration with Nike. Lebron regards the shoeline as “Best shoes of the year!!!”. This tweet serves as top tier advertisement to Nike and his shoe line. Due to his credibility as a basketball player, many of his followers are going to buy the product or have bought in order to better themselves in the game of basketball. This is visible in the comments where the audience mostly agrees and promotes uplifting criticism about the shoes. This is a way Lebron James focuses his credibility to promote the organizations he is apart of.
The name Lebron James is one that represents humility, hunger, and discipline. This can be easily witnessed on his social media pages. James has a passion for posting inspirational quotes and success stories about anyone that he believes are important to share. A famous tweet including the words: “NEVER underestimate the heart of a Champion” was posted as a simple message on his page. Little did he know that messages like these are constant reminders that fuel his audience in a way unseen in many other professional athletes because it gives him fuel from both the positive and negative direction. In the comments section one can witness just how opposing the tweets are from his audience. Some give him backlash for having bad games or calling his next transfer move, while others affirm his post with love and ingenuity. An inspirational story that Lebron felt the need to share on his Twitter page was one of Canadian tennis player Bianca Adreescru. Her story was retweeted on his page with the caption “The young queen @bandreescu_ is home & back where it all began @tenniscanada More to come #SheTheNorth #StriveForGreatness”. This acknowledgement is substantial as he delivers his daily life motto that is correctly portrayed on his page to another celebrity that is on the rise. Some of these strategies have been very effective when compared to others. The audience can truly tell that James is a sincere and giving person through his actions. Lebron has a good heart and an even better mind that helps his sense of celebrity be maneuvered as something for the greater good of social media. Another way Lebron posts, is by addressing his feelings. “Man this really just hit me! I’m really shooting Space Jam 2!! This is so surreal and doesn’t even make sense to me! Where I come from man and what I saw growing up this doesn’t add up to me! I’m truly grateful and beyond blessed. This is CRAZINESS”. The clear description of his excitement provides as inspiration to his followers, not only to his primary audience but his secondary set of people that want to help out in the world. He states in a simple tweet that filming a movie he watched as a child is a dream come true. Space Jam included one of the all time greatest basketball players, Michael Jordan. Now Lebron is being held to his caliber and prestige, it is a definite reward that has been earned for the Laker man. This is another small way Lebron has utilized emotion to further provide inspiration to his social media feed. Lebrons’ diverse page always surprises unlike another athlete who just post about their personal glory.
Lebron James is a continuing fighter for SB 206, a law granting NCAA athletes the ability to get paid for their time and effort sacrificed during traditional university. He gives advocacy and consistent messages to fight and vote for this bill. One of his tweets includes a link to a YouTube video, leading to the College Advocacy Initiative page. Here the video conveys the truth that over 480,000 collegiate athletes have no right of their own. All of this as soon as they sign their National letter of intent. This is a bit controversial on his part, because Lebron James did not attend any university due to his NCAA ineligibility. This promotion uproars conflicting comments that both negatively and positively impact his feed as his credibility is not as firm. His passion for this case is although evident and his audience of people that want to enhance the world feed into this.
Lebron also unveils continuing statistics to his “I PROMISE” school. A big supporter of the underprivileged community, Lebron James seems to emphasize and promote the amazing achievements of minorities on his social media page. Many of his retweets consist of his foundations that give light to stories of kids in neighborhoods similarly to the one he grew up in. Giving publicity to his 43.6 million followers it is without a doubt that his primary audience of aspiring athletes and secondary target audience of people who want to promote good will to the world give likes and retweets as well. James very well knows what it’s like to be an at-risk student himself. As a fourth grader, he says, “The jitters before the first day of school are real right now!!! Tomorrow is going to be one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life when we open the #IPROMISE School. This skinny kid from Akron who missed 83 days of school in the 4th grade had big dreams…”. James missed 83 days of school while he and his mother moved from one couch or spare room to the next. Lebron is consistently promoting his school and foundations because they are providing a positive influence in the world. The new aged school is a public school formed in collaboration between James’ family foundation and Akron Public Schools. It is an unusual form of public education because it offers eight hours of school including programs like a “support circle” for students after lunch; and GED courses and job placement for parents. He retweets factual evidence stating that “90% of his students have met or exceeded their growth goals”. This is just one of many posts he provides on his page of twitter. He credits mentors, with an abrupt change that helped him attend every day of fifth grade which resulted to be his first year he played organized basketball. Since then, 240 third and fourth graders made up the inaugural class at the I Promise School, which opened in James’ hometown. Mostly all of his foundations are driven by James’ mission to help kids overcome what he faced as a low-income student in Akron, Ohio.
In final analysis, through tweets of personal quotes, personal emotion, and retweets of statistical progress Lebron James carries the consistent theme of inspiration and desire throughout his social media page. His humility and gratitude to those who have helped him during his early journey in life is evident. One can see this by the way he helps throughout his community and through the feedback he gives to young rising talents. His “I Promise” is just one of the many foundations he has. Also opening a food business called “Taco Tuesday” where food is granted to those who have nothing to eat.
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