Cleveland Cavaliers Deal Means Jersey Ads are Here to Stay

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 16: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts while taking on the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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A Cleveland Cavaliers jersey patch deal is major NBA news. For the Cavaliers, this deal brings new revenue to the franchise. It also means the NBA’s pilot program allowing teams to sell advertising space on their jerseys is much more likely to become permanent.

Cleveland Cavaliers Patch Deal Means Jersey Ads are Here to Stay

The deal, first reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday, makes Cleveland the fifth NBA team to close out a deal under the league’s three-year pilot program.

While the value of the deal with Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear Tires has not yet been disclosed, along with any other details, the fact that a premiere franchise like Cleveland is involved takes the prominence of corporate-sponsored jersey patches to a new level.

Starting next season, the patches will be featured on Cavaliers’ jerseys, putting the Goodyear logo in front of millions of fans who attend and watch Cleveland games.

Cavaliers will join the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets as teams with advertisements on their jerseys. None of these teams, however, have the star power that the Cavaliers possess with LeBron James and company.

Now that the Cavaliers have broadened the scope and success of the program, expect other franchises to follow suit. Additionally, potential sponsors should be more likely to approach teams seeking deals sooner rather than later. As time passes, the cost of securing the real estate for advertising will increase.

After the 2019-20 season, the league will review this program to see if they will continue to allow teams to sell advertising space on its jerseys. With one of the NBA’s most prominent franchises having closed such a deal makes that more likely on its own. Other franchises who will announce similar deals between now and then will only add to that likelihood.

Regardless of fans’ opinions, these jersey patches are here to stay. In the world of professional sports, if it makes cents, it makes sense.


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