LeBron James seeks interns; no basketball skills required

05/30/2013 11:26 AM

06/03/2013 10:13 AM

Some lucky college students will be taking their talents to South Beach, working as interns for the Miami Heat’s LeBron James.

This week, the NBA MVP’s official website posted a listing seeking “students who have an interest in online content development and digital sports marketing.” The job entails researching trends, social-media interaction with fans, and assisting with content development on the website. No basketball skills required.

“If you’re trying to get into the sports marketing business, to have LeBron James on your résumé, even if you’re working for free, looks awfully good,” said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco and author of the Sports Marketing Report. Unlike other athletes who defer to their agents to take care of business ventures, James heads his own company, a rarity in the sports world.

In endorsements alone, James earns $40 million from companies such as Nike, Coca Cola, McDonald’s, and Samsung in addition to a partial ownership of the Liverpool soccer club, according to Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50, a list in which James placed second. With these kinds of credentials, James has made a name for himself as a businessman, too.

“If a guy can build his own brand, have his own marketing company, have enough business there that they can staff it with paid employees, then being able to have interns is a pretty nice luxury,” Dorfman said.

According to the internship posting, ideal candidates will be fluent in Spanish and have experience in journalism, marketing, or communications. A strong knowledge of basketball and technology is essential. Interns must be based in South Florida, Ohio, or New York.

But don’t think the job will be a toss from the free-throw line.

Working for James’ website will require a commitment of three semesters — spring, summer and fall — and at least 10 hours a week. The posting doesn’t say anything about paid compensation, and calls to James’ marketing company for information were not immediately returned. Not to worry, Dorfman said. Under law, interns cannot work for free, so interns can expect to receive at least college credit for their work.

To apply, students must write an essay (500 words minimum) about why they are “the perfect person for the internship,” as well as a cover letter and résumé.

Like James himself, they should move quickly. The deadline for applications is 10 a.m. June 4. For more information visit lebronjames.com.

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