Take a look at the diagram below, it charts the fluctuations of Nike's stock from the start of the NBA Finals to it's closing today after the Miami Heat were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks and Lebron's quotes about people having to go back to their personal problems circulated throughout the world.
A couple of observations and we are only speculating here because we are in no trying to position ourselves as experts: the dip after the Heat's win in Game 1, could that have been attributed to the feeling then that Miami was going to walk through the Mavericks to the title and was fueled by the anti-Lebron sentiment? Also, it is hard to ignore the dips after Lebron's disappearing act in games 4 and 5.
One question to ponder, how does Lebron's marketing team and the gurus at Nike work to repair the damage done? America loves a comeback story, we've seen numerous other athletes fall, whether personally or professionally only to come back and be admired for it, however, with Lebron it is different. He had the chance to own up for his shortcomings last night and instead used his platform to essentially spit in the face of middle America i.e. the consumers his advertisers count on. He looked as lost in the post game press conference as he did out on the floor, deferring to Dwyane Wade to answer the tough questions. The fact is, and it's a scary and puzzling one for Nike and other Lebron sponsors, their spokesman has a serious image problem.