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MSN hooks up with NBA superstar to boost kid numbers

As much as we'd like to think kids rely solely on kid shows for entertainment, pro sports capture a good chunk of their attention. In fact, during playoff season, key basketball and football games often top the kids TV rating charts. So it's not surprising that MSN is teaming up with NBA superstar LeBron James to create an online destination that draws in US kids and young teens.
February 21, 2007

As much as we’d like to think kids rely solely on kid shows for entertainment, pro sports capture a good chunk of their attention. In fact, during playoff season, key basketball and football games often top the kids TV rating charts. So it’s not surprising that MSN is teaming up with NBA superstar LeBron James to create an online destination that draws in US kids and young teens.

LeBron.msn.com takes a storybook-style look at his path to athletic superstardom, from his humble beginnings in Akron, Ohio. It will also include blog-like postings from James about his life in the NBA, as well as highlighting his charity work and friends and family.

Every few weeks, the hoop star will issue challenges that pit participants against each other in competitions for branded prizes. However, for the first 13 weeks the main goal is to build the site’s membership so there will be a simple draw for a Zune media player fully loaded with the B-ball player’s music picks and a pair of Nike Zoom shoes. Two winners will be chosen each week.

In conjunction with the launch, MSN is also offering consumers LeBron James theme packs and emoticons for their Instant Messenger apps, as well as online James assets that can be used to decorate individual Microsoft Live spaces.

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month.

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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