LeBron James Takes Fans Behind-the-Scenes During the NBA Finals

Social media serves as an effective means for athletes to build their brands, provide fans with unique access points, and no longer need to rely on traditional media outlets to gain exposure and gain noteriety throughout the year.

While most athletes turn to social media periodically to engage with fans, few have leveraged the channel to provide fans with behind-the-scenes perspectives and insights throughout an entire playoff series or season. In the past few months, LeBron James has emerged as a leader in the space, providing fans with an inside look at his gear, style, and meals throughout the season and 2011 NBA Finals.

James and a collection of his personal assistants have turned to YouTube and his site, LeBronJames.com, to film a series of low-budget vignettes that share with fans what items are in his practice bag, what outfits he plans to wear during post-game press conferences, and what meals he prefers to devour to get ready for big games.

As James' off-the-court virals continue to gain noteriety online, they will serve as a perfect means to incorporate product placement and corporate partner integration (e.g. what cars LeBron drives, what electronics/technology he uses, what music/movies he enjoys, etc.), and will build new followers along the way.

Check out some recent examples of LeBron's off-the-court virals below, which were all recorded specifically for the 2011 NBA Finals:  

LeBron's Practice Bag (Finals Edition)

LeBron's Closet (2011 Finals Edition)

Cookin' with the King (Finals Edition, Game 1)

The NBA Strikes Gold with a Mini Movie Series

In recent years, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has done a remarkable job producing a series of mini movies that truly magnify the league's biggest games and events of the season. Each of the mini movies provide fans with an all-access look that creates an elevated sense of excitement, drama, and star power.

The NBA's mini movies have been very well received in the online community. The league's NBA Finals Game 1 mini movie attracted 215K+ views in just two (2) days and the 2011 NBA All-Star Game mini movie attracted nearly 750K impresssions.

It would be great to see more leagues and major events replicate the NBA's mini movie concept - notably the NCAA. There is so much drama and excitement surrounding March Madness and the BCS Bowl Games that it would be great to see more of the behind-the-scenes happenings first hand.

Check out a breakdown of some of the NBA's mini movies below: