The IronPigs' ambitious campaign to lure soon-to-be NBA free agent LeBron James took the sports world by storm.
It started as a billboard overlooking the American Parkway Bridge.
One Tweet and an open letter later and #LVWantsLeBron took the sports world by storm in May 2018.
The campaign continued through the Cleveland Cavaliers' run to the NBA Finals, where they were defeated by the Golden State Warriors for the second consecutive season and culminated with #LVWantsLeBron Night at Coca-Cola Park on June 28.
The Pigs efforts, which included sending a customized jersey to James in Cleveland, offering James' son a job with the Pigs, an in-park chalk toss and more resulted in the team winning two Golden Bobblehead awards.
Shortly after sharing the image of the billboard on their social media channels, the IronPigs released a tongue-in-cheek open letter to James.
In the letter, the Pigs illustrated the reasons why baseball was the only path to becoming the greatest of all-time. Until he picked up a bat and struggled through a summer of Minor League Baseball, he would not have any case for being the GOAT.
The letter concluded with a promise that IronPigs President and General Manager Kurt Landes reach out to James' representatives once the NBA free agency window opened at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 -- a promise Landes would fulfill less than two months later.
Shortly after the overwhelming positive response from fans around the nation, the IronPigs announced #LVWantsLeBron Night for Thursday, June 28 at Coca-Cola Park. This was the Pigs' last home game before the NBA free agency window opened and would serve as the team's final push to land the superstar.
"We've done a number of unique and interesting promotions but none have gained as much attention from fans and other teams as #LVWantsLeBron," said IronPigs President and General Manager Kurt Landes. "After we saw the incredible reaction to our initial posts, we knew we were on to something and pulled out all the stops to try and land LeBron."
Landes discussed the team's quest and the plans for June 28 in an appearance on 94 WIP:
The Pigs' efforts included a LeBron head-on-a-stick giveaway, a headband giveaway, free Sprite for anyone who arrived at the ballpark wearing a LeBron James jersey, an in-game chalk toss and an appearance by the GOAT himself.
After the successes of the campaign both in-park and online, the IronPigs took their talents to the MiLB Promo Seminar in Des Moines, Iowa where #LVWantsLeBron was nominated for the "Best Digital Campaign or Activation" Golden Bobblehead award. Not only did #LVWantsLeBron bring home that prize, it also won the Golden Bobblehead for "Best Overall Promotion" as voted on by all Minor League Baseball organizations in attendance.
"It's always an honor to see that your peers admire your team's efforts," said Lindsey Knupp, the Pigs' Vice President of Marketing and Entertainment. "We've long considered our yearly promotional calendars to be the best in all of Minor League Baseball, and events like this help to highlight what we're doing for the fans here at Coca-Cola Park."
The Pigs didn't win the chase for LeBron's signature, but they again reminded fans why the organization is MiLB's gold standard for promotions. The two golden bobbleheads were the fourth and fifth in IronPigs history, giving the team more than any other organization.