Akron Woman Creates #ThisIsHome Billboard To Convince LeBron James To Stay
An Akron, Ohio realtor took out two new billboards to encourage soon-to-be free agent LeBron James that #ThisIsHome.
It’s no secret that there’s been an NBA arms race to take the otherworldly talents of LeBron James away from northeast Ohio. But thanks to a local Akron resident, these attempts have been made just a bit harder. Alison McIntyre Baranek, a realtor with Stouffer Realty in Fairlawn, bought two new billboards with the aim of encouraging the soon-to-be NBA free agent to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“It just seems right to reach out to him and [to] let him know we want him to stay, to show him some hometown love,” she said. “He does so much for our community, especially the kids. Akron is so much better with him here.” As an Akron-born kid from the 330, I am surprised (much like she is) that no one did this the first time around. Hell, the fact that we’re doing it now, so that we know where we’ll end up as a community and as a sports franchise if we don’t at least show how much we truly appreciate the hometown hero and his efforts.
The competition has already been hungry in convincing James to leave Ohio for “greener pastures”. Three went up in February on I-480 in Cleveland, inviting the three-time NBA champion to join the Philadelphia 76ers. A Philadelphia businessman living in Cleveland did the deed. The boards read “#23,” “Complete The Process” and “#PhillyWantsLeBron”.
However, in Akron, Baranek took a more simpler approach for her billboards, so, on I-77 north of Copley Road, the billboard features a picture of ruby athletic shoes with No. 23 and the message: “LeBron, There’s no place like home. #ThisIsHome.” A second billboard is going up for four days — a single slot available from March 28-31 on Route 18 in Medina. The original billboard will remain up for 30 days.
“It was expensive,” she said. “I think it’s worth the investment to get the word out to LeBron that his hometown loves him. I want to corral the whole community to get behind ‘#ThisIsHome,’” she said. “Hopefully people will embrace that and use it. This is LeBron’s home. We want him to stay.”