Originally written on Sports Business Digest  |  Last updated 11/30/12
The King meets the Champs. (I feel bad for writing this.) NBA Superstar Lebron James is teaming up with sports apparel center Champs Sports for a holiday-based digital content, e-commerce partnership. Under the deal, James will star in a four-part video cover story in the next issue of SWAG -- a digital publication created by Champs Sports that was launched in August. The magazine, seemingly reminiscent of a Sports Illustrated for Kids, provides content geared towards a teen audience and features a look at the world of sports through the eyes of sports' most prominent athletes. The Lebron James issue will be available on iTunes, starting December 10th. “LeBron James is the athlete who most resonates with the core Champs Sports customer, so partnering with him to produce original content and integrate marketing efforts across both brands is a tremendous opportunity for us,” said Frank Bracken, vice president of marketing, Champs Sports. “And LeBron’s digital footprint is so large, active and culturally relevant, that it allows us to integrate our brand content and engagement programs into his digital platforms in such an organic and natural way.” James' four part video series, entitled "SWAG 16" features a March-Madness bracket of 16 of James' favorite items, going head-to-head against each other, with one item becoming the item that James cannot live without. "We are very excited about this new partnership with Champs Sports. It helps us tell an original story about LeBron by connecting directly with fans through our digital and social platforms," said Maverick Carter, CEO of LRMR. "LeBronJames.com is a community of fans who share LeBron's love of sports, entertainment, technology and fashion. SWAG16 from Champs Sports is the perfect content partner for our site because it's an authentic and engaging way for fans to hear directly from LeBron. We are always looking for new ways to work with partners and SWAG16 is an important model for what we are doing in the digital space." To activate the sponsorship prior to the 10th, James' website, LebronJames.com, will host a SWAG 16 bracket contest centering around an interactive web-game. The game will tie back in to James brand itself (there is a chance to win a signed pair of Nike Lebron X shoes), while also tying into his partnership with Champs Sports (in-game ads will take visitors to a Lebron James-branded microsite on Champs Sports). Per the usual, the partnership will be promoted across various multimedia channels including digital and social marketing platforms.   (via FastHorseInc Press Release)    
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