“Where’s LeBron going?”
It’s been the question on the sports world’s mind for months, and for some insiders, even years. But since LeBron officially became a free agent on July 1st, the frontrunners for LeBron’s services have changed virtually every day.
According to a week-long buzz study conducted by NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey Company, the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have all been the most closely linked teams to King James for at least one day.
Here’s a day-by-day summary of online buzz in the U.S. surrounding his wild free agency journey:
July 1: LeBron officially becomes a free agent, and New York takes the early lead with more online LeBron references (24% share) to the Knicks than any of the five other NBA suitors. Buzz volume surrounding LeBron overtakes the buzz levels of another huge sports story – the World Cup – for the first time since the tournament began.
July 2-3: Coming out of LeBron’s individual meetings, the buzz momentum is clearly dominated by the Chicago Bulls, peaking with 36% of the total share on July 3rd. The World Cup passes LeBron with higher buzz volume.
July 4: As LeBron celebrates the 4th of July with friends and family in Akron, OH, the online community is reminded that Cleveland still has a hometown appeal. The Cavaliers pull into a dead heat in the buzz race with the Knicks and Bulls. Each of the three teams hold about a one quarter share of all LeBron free agent buzz
July 5: The Knicks are back to the front of the LeBron conversation, as more mainstream news reports trickle in naming New York as King James’ most likely destination.
July 6: As LeBron participates in a local basketball camp with pros and high school players, the Cavs surge back to the top of online free agency speculation with 36% of the total buzz share.
July 7: LeBron announces that he will make his decision during a one-hour primetime broadcast on July 8. When word spreads that LeBron will make the announcement from Greenwich, CT, the Knicks re-claim the top spot for buzz share. But as late reports surface that LeBron is leaning toward joining fellow free agent superstars in Miami, the online buzz share tying him to the Heat surges past buzz for both Cleveland and Chicago. And even as Spain defeats Germany to set the final matchup in the World Cup, LeBron’s buzz volume surpasses the tournament’s.