Official Press Release
POWERade and DC Comics unveil today a Web “first”: the first of four new online comics starring LeBron James as “King James,” the world’s newest super-hero. Each POWERade online comic available at http://www.flava23.com features LeBron drawn by a dynamic DC Comics art team – uniting one of the NBA’s hottest talents with the coolest talents in comic books.
The POWERade online comic translates still comic book pages into animated Flash pages that use LeBron’s voice, audio clips and interactivity to create a dramatic, serialized story. The first online comic, “The Offer,” features all new content written by Ron Perazza with art by fan favorite comic book artist Rick Leonardi (Batgirl).
The first 12-screen Webisode of “The Offer” will premier on April 13, with an additional Webisode rolling out each week for five weeks. The Website also will feature a “Hack the Hetairia” game and instant-win Sweepstakes. Prizes include a trip to New York for the winner to be drawn into a future issue of a KING JAMES comic book.
LeBron’s King James super-hero persona first appeared last summer in the popular DC Comic, KING JAMES. At 20 years old, LeBron James has already achieved many “firsts”: first “prep to pro” player to score 25 points in his pro debut; youngest player to score 56 points in a game; youngest player to score 1,000 career points; the first superstar athlete to create his own sports drink flavor – POWERade FLAVA23. Now he’s the first superstar comic book hero to bring his game to the courts and the Web.
Extending LeBron’s super exploits to the Web was a natural progression for POWERade,” said Mary Herrera, Director of Marketing for Sports & Energy Drinks in North America. “These online comics demonstrate the non-traditional approach the POWERade brand takes to sports and marketing – challenging convention and anticipating consumer interest.”
POWERade will support the online comic launch with a highly targeted digital campaign. DC Comics will support with a trade ad in SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL on April 18 and advertisements in DC Comics’ monthly comic books in May 2005.
“LeBron James is one of the most popular and charismatic players in the league today. To satisfy demand for the KING JAMES comic book, DC Comics is printing over three million copies for what was the most expansive sports-related custom comic book we have ever created,” said David McKillips, Vice President, Advertising & Custom Publishing, DC Comics. “Now the POWERade online comics allow us to expand on that audience, while continuing the adventure and introducing King James’ fans to the exciting DC Comics’ storytelling of creators like Rick Leonardi, Shawn Martinborough, and Yanick Paquette.”
POWERade FLAVA23 is the first sports drink flavor to be created by a professional athlete. LeBron introduced his first version, POWERade FLAVA23 SourBerry, in 2004.