Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is among the first companies in the country to buy an advertisement on the jersey of a NBA team. Akron-based Goodyear made it a 'local' transaction, and announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavs will wear the Goodyear Wingfoot on the left shoulder of their jerseys. The 2017-2018 season will be the first test of company sponsorships on jerseys in the NBA. Teams are allowed to sell a 2.5-inch square space.
The tire maker did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
"This is a natural fit between two organizations rooted in Northeast Ohio whose strong brands have a global following," says Rich Kramer, chairman, CEO and president of Goodyear. "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."
David Griffin, Cavaliers general manager, says, "This partnership had to be something that our entire franchise, and specifically our team, believed in and can now be inspired by. Having the Wingfoot become part of the actual fabric of our identity does that. The connection represents something deeper than basketball and is forged on a common platform to operate physically and culturally at the highest level. We can't imagine a more appropriate partner than Goodyear, and the team will have a unique depth of pride wearing the Wingfoot on the court as we compete."
"Every Akron kid grew up seeing the Wingfoot in the sky on the blimp and feeling pride in our community," says Akron native and Cavs NBA All Star LeBron James. "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 Cavs and Goodyear also announced the relationship will yield an extra community benefit to schools in Cleveland and Akron. The Cavaliers, in conjunction with Goodyear, are funding $1 million of support to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Akron Public Schools.
In addition to the Cavs, Goodyear will collaborate with Turner Sports, a national broadcaster of the NBA and the official media extension of this agreement, who will bring to life the power of the jersey patch with custom branded content and advertising on TNT and other platforms.
"This is an amazing partnership that brings together organizations that are at the top of their game," says David Levy, president of Turner. "We are excited to work with Goodyear to amplify their commitment to the Cavs and celebrate the sports culture that binds together the Northeast Ohio community."
Goodyear says its connection to the Cavs is more than regional. In the 1930s, Goodyear was a founding member of the National Basketball League, a precursor to today's NBA. The Goodyear Wingfoots won the first NBL title in 1937. The Wingfoots captured the AAU National Championship in 1964 with a team that featured three Olympic Gold Medalists: Richard Davies, Pete McCaffrey, and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Brown.
For more information, visit www.goodyear.com.