Samsung's Problem With LeBron, Ellen and Beckham

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Samsung (SSNLF) is battling Apple (AAPL) in the marketplace, and sometimes it has unlikely enemies: its celebrity sponsors.

Case in point: the tweet heard round the world this week was from NBA superstar LeBron James. In a moment of technology frustration, James wrote, "My phone just erased everything it had in it and rebooted." For you and me, a tweet like this would simply show our frustration with a product.

However, for James the tweet represents another example of Samsung (SSNLF) being hurt by its endorsement deals. Samsung, which is listed on the Korea Stock Exchange and is traded over the counter in the U.S., had an OTC share price of $1,180 as of 11 a.m.

James has been an official spokesman for Samsung since 2012. James can be seen in several commercials using a Samsung mobile phone. However, after James' bad day with his Samsung phone, maybe he'll reconsider his future phone deals.

LeBron's hand-biting tweet was taken down quickly, but not before it was shared over 500 times and seen by a possible 15 million of LeBron's followers. In the social media age, a tweet also lives on through anyone who shared it or screen captured it.

This mishap is another example of endorsers hurting Samsung's image.

Even a triumph seemed to slip away from Samsung this month. Ellen DeGeneres used a Samsung phone to smash the Twitter (TWTR) record for most retweets. Using a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, DeGeneres took a group-shot selfie at the Academy Awards, featuring actors like Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Spacey. The photo was retweeted over 3 million times and helped Samsung receive over 900 mentions a minute during the Oscars telecast.

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