Akron woman posts new billboards reminding LeBron James ‘#ThisIsHome’

March 22, 2018

Akron woman posts new billboards reminding LeBron James ‘#ThisIsHome’

AKRON, Ohio - Akron’s Cleveland Cavaliers fans can thank a local resident for two new billboards encouraging LeBron James to stay with the Cavs.

Alison McIntyre Baranek, a realtor with Stouffer Realty in Fairlawn, posted the billboards on behalf of all Akron fans.

“It just seems right to reach out to him and 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.”

Billboards to woo James, a free agent, to other teams have been popping up everywhere.

ESPN reported on the first three that went up in February on I-480 in Cleveland inviting James to join the Philadelphia 76ers. Posted by a Philadelphia businessman, the boards read ”#23,” “Complete The Process” and ”#PhillyWantsLeBron.”

In response, a board went up in Cleveland picturing a crown shaped in an indecorous gesture reading “Hey Philly.” Since then boards have gone up in Portland, Los Angeles and other hopeful cities.

In Akron, Baranek watched the area for billboards to go up and when none did, she decided to do it herself.

“I couldn’t believe no on in Akron had thought to do it,” she said.

One billboard, on I-77 north of Copley Road, went live last night and will remain up for 30 days. A second billboard is going up for four days - the only slot available - March 28-31 on Route 18 in Medina.

She selected the billboards for the highest visibility and ones she could rent fastest. And she designed them herself. Both  billboards will change every few 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.”

She was especially annoyed by a Lakers’ fan billboard that read ”#LABron, Cleveland & Philly, you can’t compete with L.A.”

Baranek’s Akron billboard pictures ruby athletic shoes with No. 23 and the message: “LeBron, There’s no place like home #ThisIsHome.”

“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.”

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