LeBron James’ team is considering legal action against Great Lakes Brewing if they don’t stop using the image of the Cavs star, according to a Cleveland.com report.
If you have an eye to detail then you might recognize Great Lakes Brewing as the label on the beer James picked up in his team’s Game 1 win over the Raptors. Naturally, the company used the viral moment to promote its product on Instagram and Twitter.
The company also had a small cardboard cutout of James, and used it to promote a special deal on the beer (that tweet was later deleted).
There’s the obvious marketing reason for James’ team not wanting a company to use his image for free. But there’s also a personal history.
“This is about the last thing I’m trying to worry about right now, my agent and my legal team will take care of it, but yeah I know (Great Lakes) is trying to benefit off of me,” James said in a statement to Cleveland.com. “And I heard they were the same company that made all those ‘Quitness’ beers, and now they’re trying to benefit off me this way? Yeah, it’s pretty funny.”
The “Quitness” beer James is referring to is an ale the company used after James left Cleveland to join the Heat. A description for it on ratebeers.com reads: “Quitness is a cask conditioned, dry hopped India Pale Ale that leaves a bitter aftertaste, perfectly describing the mood of Cleveland sports fans these days.”
When James said after Game 1 that he is “not much of a beer guy,” he really meant it.