The Latest ‘Three Billboards’-Style Campaign to Lure LeBron James to Philadelphia

Other advocacy groups have also borrowed from the Oscar-nominated film

Last Updated: February 26, 2018 @ 3:35 PM

Inspired by the Oscar-nominated film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” some Philadelphia 76ers fans are taking a creative approach in order to convince Lebron James to leave Cleveland for the City of Brotherly Love when he becomes a free agent in July.

The first sign features “#23” in maroon with a crown on it on the court with four blue numbers, the second billboard says “Complete The Process,” and the third says “#PhillyWantsLeBron.” Somewhere (likely Northern California where resides), former Sixers GM Sam Presti is smiling that his process of rebuilding the franchise is nearly complete.

The 76ers organization wasn’t involved in the billboards’ placement or else they’d be brought up on tampering charges by the league. The billboards were paid for by Power Home Remodeling, a company based in Chester, Pennsylvania, which is 12 miles south from the team’s home in South Philadelphia.

“We’re passionate about Philadelphia,” said Asher Raphael (via ESPN), the company’s co-CEO. “We have an amazing city, it’s the best sports town and it’s an awesome place to live. We think the best athletes should want to play here.”

“LeBron is in the conversation of being the best player of all time,” Raphael said. “We think if he comes to Philly, he gets a couple more championships.”

In the film “Three Billboards,” Frances McDormand’s Mildred Hayes is a mother consumed with grief and anger — because nine months before the film begins, her teenage daughter was found raped and murdered and burned to death on a remote road where three empty, tattered billboards stood.

This campaign is the latest to capitalize on the hype surrounding the Oscar-nominated film. Billboards were used in a similar fashion following the Parkland, Florida shooting to criticize Sen. Marco Rubio on his gun control position, and to demand justice for the 71 people who died in a London fire last year.

Desperate to shame the police into restarting a stalled investigation, Mildred pays $5,000 to have messages put on the billboards: “RAPED WHILE DYING” on the first, “AND STILL NO ARRESTS?” on the second, and “HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?” on the third.