Cleveland Cavaliers Become Sixth NBA Team to Announce Sponsor Patch on Jerseys
While the Boston Celtics will claim a considerable share of today’s headlines thanks to last night’s 115-105 Game 7 Eastern Conference semifinals victory over the Washington Wizards, the Cleveland Cavaliers will bask in a little of the limelight, too. The defending National Basketball Association champions, whom the Massachusetts hoopsters will host tomorrow to open their series, announced yesterday that Ohio’s own Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will place its logo on their jerseys next season, a move that makes the Cavs the league’s sixth team to secure a corporate jersey sponsor.
“This is a natural fit between two organizations rooted in Northeast Ohio whose strong brands have a global following,” CEO Rich Kramer said of his company’s alignment with the revered franchise. “Goodyear has always been connected to the Cavs from our blimp coverage to the tremendous passion of our associates for the team, and we’re excited to make this relationship even stronger.”
The union, the financial terms of which neither entity revealed, led the club’s CEO, Len Komoroski, to declare, “We go together like peanut butter and jelly,” a sentiment that could prove as sweet economically as the foods’ pairing has been nutritionally. An ESPN report uses input from sponsorship evaluation firm Apex Marketing Group to note the multiyear contract could net as much as $30 million annually. That tally, based on the logo’s impending presence on televised games and marketing through social media, trading cards and video games, will certainly impress bookkeepers, but a far smaller total will delight residents of the Buckeye State.
Through the agreement, which will adorn the jerseys with 2.5x2.5” wingfoot patches, the business partners will donate $1 million to Cleveland- and Akron-situated public schools’ educational programs, with the latter city being Goodyear’s headquarters.
“Every Akron kid grew up seeing the wingfoot in the sky on the blimp and feeling pride in our community,” superstar forward LeBron James, a native of the metropolis dubbed “Rubber City,” said of the pact. “There is something special for me personally about having that logo on the Cavs uniform. Goodyear is also very supportive of the LeBron James Family Foundation. I can’t imagine a better situation with our new Cavs jersey than bringing together Nike and Goodyear, two companies that mean a lot to me and my family.”
The perennial All-Star’s squad joins the Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz as corporate sponsor beneficiaries. Nike, set to become the league’s official uniform supplier, will unveil the logo this summer when it starts to peddle the new jerseys. Nationally-sold tops will not feature the symbols, per the protocol of jersey logo deals, but official team location will make the new apparel available. While nobody wants to rush us to the end of the NBA season, especially because of the possibility of a third-straight finals meeting between James’ gang and the Golden State Warriors, the fall figures to be an interesting time for fans to see the aesthetic and economic effects the half-dozen logos have on the league, whose 30 teams are worth quite a pretty penny.