LeBron billboard battle pivots to Akron. Will LBJ heed the message?

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - The coast-to-coast billboard battle over LeBron James continues.

Now, his hometown is stepping up with a gentle reminder of why he should stay put with the Cavs.

An Akron realtor put up a billboard for LeBron much closer to his home than anyone else.

Alison McIntyre Baranek with Stouffer Realty says she couldn't pass up the opportunity to make sure his hometown is represented as the billboards enticing him to other teams continue to pop up.

She knows the secret—it's all about the location.

And she wanted to make sure Akron is represented.

"I just took whatever I could get as quickly as I could get it and this is what it was," she said.

The billboard does a play on Dorothy's red shoes in the Wizard of Oz, with ruby red sneakers and the number 23 on them.

You'll find it on I-77 between White Pond Drive and Copley Road.

"I just hope he feels the love from his hometown community. I'm doing this on behalf of everyone here," McIntyre Baranek said.

It all started with three billboards on I-480 ending with #Philly wants LeBron.

In February, a businessman from the City of Brotherly Love wanted to make a statement here in Cleveland, and he sure did.

But a day later, a Cleveland-area businessman hit back, putting up his own digital billboard off Highway 2 at East 305th Street.


A week later, LA jumped in.

That billboard shows LeBron's No. 23 in a purple jersey, with the words #LAbron.

Then Portland came off the bench.

Trail Blazers fans will get their billboard after a social media blitz and a GoFundMe campaign.

Its location is to-be-determined in Portland or even in Cleveland near the Quicken Loans Arena.

McIntyre Baranek couldn't let those cities have the last word.

"I think the L.A. billboard said Cleveland can't compete, and they can't compete with LeBron's home. This is home for him, this is where he belongs. Akron and Northeast Ohio," she said.

"It's something I'd like everyone in the Akron community and Cleveland and Cavs community to get behind. This is hashtag, #ThisIsHome."

The message will change several times on the electronic billboards, and there will be another one going up on Route 18 in the Medina-Sharon Township area closer to LeBron's home from March 28 to 31.

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