The idea behind the #PitchLeBron contest was simple: Entrepreneurs had 23 seconds to explain why they deserved an online shout-out from LeBron James, with the hope being that a little promotion from the King might make a dent in helping their organization grow.
Many entered the contest. The winner was well-deserving: Yolanda Jones is the founder of Yolanda's Construction Administration & Traffic Control, an organization designed to get young people off the streets and into paying jobs on construction sites. The organization operates in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, a hard-scrabble community in San Francisco.
"LeBron, I need your help," Jones, wearing a hard hat and orange construction jacket, said in her Instagram video. "We place men and women on construction projects to earn a decent living. Put the guns down, put the dope down and pick up a stop sign."
James loved it. And Jones was named the winner.
— Cleveland Hustles (@ClevelandCNBC) August 24, 2016
James gave Jones a shout-out on Twitter and Facebook:
Congrats Yolanda!! Way to go. https://t.co/KKNY47DPRO
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2016
The #PitchLeBronContest was run as a promotional effort for the new reality TV series "Cleveland Hustles," a James-produced show on CNBC that will pair entrepreneurs with investors as they try to steer their businesses toward success.