Report: Jim Gray Paid $500,000 For LeBron Show

(Publisher’s note: Hoffarth confirmed to me that he verified Gray’s compensation for the LeBron “Decision” ESPN show via his own source before reporting the story. ESPN has also re-confirmed to me that it only paid Gray’s travel expenses.)

On July 9 I reported the financial details of the LeBron James ‘Decision’ production that was aired on ESPN and billed as a charity benefit.

Jim Gray took $500,000 for LeBron Decision Show

After the show aired, Dawn C. Chmielewski of the LOS ANGELES TIMES reported of the production’s financial haul:

ESPN agreed to donate the time, sponsors committed about $3 million — which Nike has pledged to match. Proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell also followed up the show with a report of his own:

As part of the partnership, ESPN turned over some of the advertising inventory in the show to James’ team to sell commercials to the likes of the University of Phoenix, Bing and Vitaminwater. James’ team said it would donate $2.5 million from the proceeds of the ads to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

So at the very least, we had a $500,000 discrepancy in the amount of money that sponsors pledged to charity and what the “James team” said would be donated.

So where did that $500,000 go? Read more…

So What Will LeBron Do For His Marketing Encore?

With the notoriety* garnered by LeBron James and his LRMR Marketing Group the past week, you can’t help but wonder what’s next for James and LRMR.

LeBron ESPN Homecoming With Rick Reilly!

(Hey you … ESPN sales guy … in the cubicle … yes YOU … GET ON IT!)

I’m now pleased to report that earlier today I did not obtain exactly what that will indeed entail:

1) Pre-book LeBron for June 2011 appearance in Cleveland on Rick Reilly’s highly-rated, critically-acclaimed ESPN Homecoming series. Secure assistance from Blackwater Security in staging event in exchange for presenting sponsorship rights. (Disclaimer: It was Craig Sager’s idea.)

2) Broker eight-figure lifetime endorsement contract with BP for new LRMR Marketing Group Client and New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul. (Includes personal use of BP CEO’s yacht.)

3) Sign Reggie Bush as LRMR Marketing Group Client. Book Bush appearance with former FEMA Chief Michael Brown at annual Superdome Boat Show in exchange for stipend to be donated to charity.

4) Acquire Jim Gray’s exclusive, worldwide marketing rights and immediately begin canvassing Horizon League member schools for broadcasting opportunities and Sacramento-area Bail Bondsmen for endorsement deals.

5) Secure venture capital - from new Miami Heat contract - for company attempting to bring fire-retardant NBA jersey technology to market. Induce Delonte West to test prototype by promising guest appearance on History Channel’s Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey.

6) Schedule press conference inside Clark County Detention Center to introduce latest LRMR hire: Financial Controller Antoine Walker. Continue searching for additional LRMR executive hires.

7) Pitch new LeBron Cleveland billboard concept to Nike execs: “WITNESS PROTECTION.” Read more…