NBA and Los Angeles Lakers Strike PR Gold in Underdog Story

Even after months or even years of planning, no one can guarantee that a public relations campaign will succeed and effectively hit its target audience. Planned campaigns can often fall on deaf airs. 

It’s also nearly impossible to predict when an organic PR opportunity will present itself for the betterment of an organization or a company. But when an unplanned PR opportunity occurs, it’s important to capitalize on it – and fast – before the moment is gone.

The NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers should, and are, doing just that after 32-year-old Los Angeles Lakers rookie Andre Ingram stole the show with a truly epic underdog story.

The game itself meant very little since the Lakers are out of playoff contention, so fans needed something a little more to cheer for. So what about a 32-year-old Los Angeles Lakers rookie who has never played in an NBA game before?

So what about a 32-year-old Los Angeles Lakers rookie who has never played in an NBA game before?


Sounds like the makings for an amazing underdog story that will have every major news outlet and millions of people across the country asking, “Who is Andrew Ingram?”

The NBA and the Lakers struck PR gold by playing Ingram in last night’s game, a game in which he scored 19 points in his rookie debut. The great Laker Kobe Bryant scored no points in his rookie debut.

Even bigger than these 19 points however, is Ingram’s commitment to playing in the NBA for the first time. It only took 10 years from when he graduated from American University and went undrafted in 2007. Rather than going abroad to make some money, Ingram spent the past decade playing in the NBA’s development league (G-League).

Ingram’s tale of underdog to top performer (for at least one game) has ESPN, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Washington Post and other major news outlets writing his name, highlighting the fact that the NBA’s path to the league is actually possible.

His path to one’s dream is not for everyone, but he has become one of the best stories that the NBA could have hoped for. Ingram’s tale of underdog to top performer (for at least one game) has ESPN, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Washington Post and other major news outlets writing his name, highlighting the fact that the NBA’s path to the league is actually possible.

Ingram is also the talk of social media. A highlight from last night’s game shared on the NBA’s Twitter account has more than 1,700 retweets and nearly 6,000 Likes. Another from the G-League account has more than 900 Retweets and nearly 7,000 Likes. The Lakers’ account also shared a post on Ingram, which received nearly 8,000 Retweets and nearly 26,000 Likes.

Go to NBA.com, and you’ll find three features on Ingram on the league’s homepage telling his story and highlighting his performance.

The fans watching last night’s game recognized this in Ingram, and he has become one of the best underdog/PR stories the NBA has had all year, possibly even longer.

Due to his dedication and perseverance to playing at the pinnacle of his sport, Ingram has highlighted that dreams can become a reality and this could turn into a major boost for the NBA tonight as the Lakers play their last regular season game.

And after the Lakers’ season wraps up, don’t be surprised if you see Andre Ingram on a late night show, talking about accomplishing his dream of playing in the NBA.

– By: Bob Brady – Managing Director | BBrady@xenophonstrategies.com

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