Soft drink brand Sprite has a long-standing relationship with basketball player LeBron James, who serves as a brand ambassador for the Coca-Cola-owned drink, and the brand is taking advantage of the social media buzz from James and his team's win at the NBA finals to launch a social media-driven campaign centred on user-generated content.
LeBron James has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers for nine of his 13 years of professional basketball, and has an even longer association with Sprite, having worked with the brand while playing college basketball.
The Sprite campaign celebrates James' role in Cleveland's first major sports championship since 1964, using the hashtag #DapTheKing to encourage consumers to share videos of elaborate handshakes inspired by the athlete's own ritual with his teammates. Several of the videos already submitted have been including in one of the digital videos supporting the campaign.
"Sprite began working with LeBron in 2003 before he played his first professional game," said Stuart Kronauge, senior vice president for brand marketing at Coca-Cola North America. "Even as an 18-year-old, we could see how passionate he was about bringing The Land a title. The Coca-Cola Company has been lucky to follow him on this 13-year journey, so it's an absolute joy to support his fans in celebrating the special moment."
The campaign is supporting its social media aspect with a digital video from viral basketball influencer Brandon "BdotAdot5" Armstrong, and has released a limited edition 16-ounce can featuring an illustration of James that will be available to retailers in Ohio for a short period.
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