AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron men's basketball, in conjunction with the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) and Coca-Cola, will give away a limited-edition bobblehead set featuring Zips' head coach Keith Dambrot and NBA Champion and MVP LeBron James.
The two-part collection will be given away at separate games, including the LeBron James bobblehead at the Saturday, Jan. 26, contest against Buffalo. Three weeks later, fans can get the Keith Dambrot bobblehead at the Zips' contest against Bowling Green on Saturday, Feb. 16. A total of 1,500 sets will be handed out.
"We are extremely thankful for everything that LeBron has done and continues to do for our program," Dambrot said. "This is just one more example of his dedication to Akron and to the Zips, and we couldn't do special events like this without his support."
The James bobblehead will feature the NBA MVP decked out in Akron Zips gear and sporting his 2012 Olympic gold medal. Both bobbleheads will showcase the LeBron James Family Foundation logo and have connectable bases.
In addition to the bobblehead giveaway, students from the Foundation's Wheels for Education Program will be in attendance for the Buffalo contest and will participate during in-game activities as part of LJFF's efforts to raise awareness about the Foundation and its vital programs.
"As a hometown organization serving the local Akron community, LJFF is a long-time supporter of the Akron Zips and its basketball program," Michele Campbell, Executive Director of the LeBron James Family Foundation, said. "We are excited about this opportunity to not only be a part of LeBron's bobblehead night, but to also recognize our Wheels for Ed kids and educate the community about the positive change the Foundation is creating in Akron."
Coca-Cola is the official beverage supplier of The University of Akron and Zips Athletics, while LeBron James is a spokesperson for Coca-Cola's Powerade® and Sprite® brands.
"Powerade® is excited to team up with the LeBron James Family Foundation and The University of Akron Department of Athletics to help promote great community activation around Zips basketball," said Robert McAfee, Vice President, Pittsburgh Market Unit Field Operations.
The relationship between Dambrot, The University of Akron and James is a unique one. In recent years, Dambrot became known as the man responsible for bringing the modest Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School boy's basketball team into the national spotlight. As head coach of the Fighting Irish, his teams won a pair of state championships in 2000 and 2001 during James' freshman and sophomore seasons.
The story, according to some, labels Dambrot as the man responsible for helping develop James. At the age of 13, the future NBA MVP and All-Star participated in $1 clinics Dambrot conducted at the local Jewish Community Center.
Additionally, since June 2008, the Akron men's basketball program has been partnered with Nike under which the Zips' shoes, game uniforms, warm ups and accessories are licensed under the Nike and LeBron James Trademarks. The Zips are just one of four college programs in the country that are partnered with the LBJ line of Nike equipment [Kentucky, Miami (Fla.) and Ohio State].
About The LeBron James Family Foundation
Founded in 2004, the LeBron James Family Foundation empowers children and single-parent households through innovative programming and initiatives, strengthening the ties between family members and building hope through education, physical fitness and better health for those who are dealing with adversity. Among the LJFF's most important national programs is its partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In 2011 the Foundation renovated 13 clubs in 6 cities across the United States. In addition, the LeBron James Family Foundation hosts the Wheels for Education program, which provides Akron schoolchildren with the opportunity to achieve long-term academic success as well as maintain their physical fitness. The LJFF also partnered with HP to provide 2,000 computers to the Akron After -School Program and Boys and Girls Club.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo or check out our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com.