The Cleveland Cavaliers may have taken sometime to get to this point, but their partnership fit with Northeast Ohio neighbor Goodyear for a multi-year partnership agreement that will begin in the 2017-18 season is right on time.
Their connection is genuine and unique, with Goodyear being a founding member of the National Basketball League, the precursor to the NBA in 1930.
Ironically, it was the Goodyear Wingfoots that won the first NBL title in 1937 and 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.
The Cavs winning the NBA championship in 2016 has brought together a natural relationship on a deal that will also make Goodyear the exclusive tire sponsor for the Cavs.
Len Komoroski, CEO of the Cavaliers and Rich Kramer, chairman, CEO and president of Goodyear ushered in the new partnership on Monday at Quicken Loans Arena, with legendary Cavaliers Jim Chones and Larry Nance on hand for the announcement.
The Wingfoot Logo will begin appearing on the Cavs uniforms and all merchandise beginning next season.
“It was just meant to be that a global iconic brand like Goodyear is our neighbor headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and shares the same DNA of basketball, community purpose and drive for success as the Cavs,” said Len Komoroski, CEO of the Cavaliers. “The treads and threads of this partnership are real, and we couldn’t be more proud to wear the Goodyear Wingfoot and come together to champion Northeast Ohio.”
Kramer agreed: “This is a natural fit between two organizations rooted in Northeast Ohio whose strong brands have a global following. 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.”
“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,” said David Griffin, Cavaliers general manager. “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.”
This partnership will begin with the greatest player in the world wearing the Wingfoot logo.
“Every Akron kid grew up seeing the Wingfoot in the sky on the blimp and feeling pride in our community,” said 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.”