NBA star LeBron James has a new cartoon called The LeBrons, which has made its debut on YouTube, and is sponsored by HP and Intel, as Google points out. I also saw a Bing commercial in there.
"Born from a Nike campaign that was very popular on YouTube, The LeBrons features four versions of James: Kid, Athlete, Business and Wise," explains YouTube sports manager Andrew Bangs. "The show is intended for young audiences but has references and scenes for basketball and music fans, too."
You can see the first episode above. Here's the second:
To be honest, I don't find it nearly as entertaining as the 1991 Saturday morning cartoon Pro Stars, which featured sports legends Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Wayne Gretzky:
Admittedly, I had a little trouble remembering what that cartoon was called, so I searched YouTube for "michael jordan bo jackson cartoon," and in the results "The LeBrons" appeared at the top as a promoted video.
The show will have new episodes released weekly, via The LeBrons channel.
YouTube is said to be spending about $100 million to commission the creation of original content for new premium YouTube channels, as the site gets revamped into a more traditional TV-style format, in terms of channels. This will include a redesign of the YouTube homepage, which should make the site more connected TV-friendly.
YouTube also announced its new live streaming channels and platform last week, which should also be an important part of YouTube's evolution into the mainstream living room experience.