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Does the LeBron / Gatorade beef prove that real time marketing isn’t worth all the headaches?

by AirTalk®

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LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 8, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Spurs dispensed with The Heat handily in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But that was merely a sidebar to the heat, aka the malfunctioned central air conditioning system at the AT&T Center in San Antonio that caused LeBron James to cramp up. James felt so bad he asked to leave the game during the critical fourth quarter. Not everyone was sympathetic. Gatorade, which has no sponsorship ties to James, tweeted the following in response to a message: ''We were waiting on the sidelines, but he prefers to drink something else.''

Fans quickly slammed Gatorade for the inappropriate tweet, leading the sports drink brand to apologize on Friday.

Is real time marketing over social media worth it, especially with so many instances of faux pas, and then the inevitable retraction and apologies. Is the instantaneity afforded by social media engagement and marketing worth the damage control?


Alex Kantrowitz, staff writer at AdAge covering marketing and advertising technology

Sasha Strauss, founder and managing director of Innovation Protocol, a marketing and branding firm in Los Angeles


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