CNBC Launches Pitch LeBron James Contest For Small Businesses

CNBC’s ‘Cleveland Hustles’ Series Launches a Pitch to LeBron James Contest for Small Businesses

Bryant Gumbel
(Image: Facebook)

To celebrate the launch of Cleveland Hustles, CNBC’s new series from Executive Producer LeBron James, the cable network announced the start of the Cleveland Hustles Presents: #PitchLeBronContest. The competition offers local small business owners across the country the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime social media endorsement from the NBA superstar.

Business owners are being invited to submit 23-second video pitches via Twitter and Instagram, using #PitchLeBronContest. As part of the pitches, contestants are encouraged to answer the fundamental question, “How would your business uniquely benefit from a LeBron James social media endorsement?” To be eligible, businesses must have a brick-and-mortar physical location, not a mail-order business or online store.

In addition to a social media endorsement from LeBron James, the winner will receive an endorsement deal from CNBC, including 15 on-air promotional spots and five social media posts across CNBC social platforms mentioning the winning small business.

Cleveland Hustles


According to a news release from CNBC, in Cleveland Hustles, James and his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter will give four aspiring local entrepreneurs the chance to realize their own dreams, while also helping to revitalize a neighborhood in Cleveland. The duo will enlist the aid of four trusted business experts and associates, who will, in turn, invest in and mentor fledgling entrepreneurs in need of a jump-start. If successful, these four businesses will provide jobs and services for neighborhoods that desperately need investment.

The show’s host is Bonin Bough, the Chief Media and E-commerce Officer for one of the largest snack food companies in the world. A leader among young C-suite executives, Bough is a successful investor in startups and small businesses, and he created the very first corporate accelerator programs, which have become instrumental in linking startups with other big brands.

Check out this video from Bonin Bough and LeBron James announcing the contest here.

What’s more, Cleveland Hustles will host in-person events in Philadelphia on August 12, in Chicago on August 13, and in San Francisco on August 15.  While at these events, small business owners will be able to pitch their ideas to the show’s host, Bonin Bough, live and receive feedback that can help inform their video submissions for the national contest.

#PitchLeBronContest Details


The website for the #PitchLeBronContest suggests these tips for making a perfect, 23-second pitch:

  • Be memorable and show your passion!
  • Tell us what’s unique about your business.
  • Keep it short! You have 23 seconds.

In addition, the website states that “entries will be evaluated for originality and creativity by a judging panel. Participants may be contacted for additional information based on the quality of their video pitches. The contest entry period ends August 18, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winner will be announced online on August 23, 2016.”