The Cavaliers are teaming up with another Akron icon.
Linked by geography and superstar LeBron James, the defending NBA champions on Monday announced a multiyear sponsorship deal with Goodyear. The Cavs will wear the tire giant's winged-foot logo on the fronts of their jerseys starting next season. Financial terms were not disclosed.
A natural fit
"This is a natural fit between two organizations rooted in Northeast Ohio whose strong brands have a global following," said Rich Kramer, Goodyear's CEO and president. "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."
Jersey patch look No. 1
The Cavs will wear the wine and gold variation of the wingfoot on their white uniforms.
Jersey patch look No. 2
When the Cavs are in wine jerseys, the logo patch will have a navy outline.
Iman comes around
Cavs guard Iman Shumpert said he was initially against the idea, but now accepts that it's part of a changing NBA.
"Growing up you're so used to seeing just the classic jersey," he said. "At first I wasn't taking to it or positive about it. I didn't like it. But seeing how they're doing it, understanding why they're doing it and me, I kind of got the best of both worlds -- I got to play in a jersey without it and I guess I'll be one of the first ones to play with it. So, it's part of it now and we'll move from there."
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Just a kid - and company - from Akron
"Every Akron kid grew up seeing the Wingfoot in the sky on the blimp and feeling pride in our community," James said. "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."
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More to the deal
Also, as part of the arrangement, the Cavs and Goodyear are donating $1 million to educational programs in Cleveland and Akron public schools.
Kramer said part of the appeal of this sponsorship was the chance to connect with an international audience. Goodyear is growing its brand in China, where James is nearly as popular as he is in the United States.
No blimp for coach
Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue is happy the Cavs will be rolling with Goodyear, but he has no plans to ride in the company's blimp.