The Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America, today announced an expansion of their existing multi-year marketing agreement to put the Cliffs logo on Cavaliers player uniforms beginning with the 2022-23 season. The announcement was made today inside the Cliffs entrance of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland.
“Cliffs has been an anchor for Cleveland and the Great Lakes Region for 175 years. We share an immense amount of hometown pride and love for this region and are committed to having a positive influence on the people that live and work here,” said Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse CEO, Len Komoroski. “While our respective roles in the community are much different from each other, both Cliffs and the Cavs are considered part of the ‘fabric of life’ here in Northeast Ohio. It is now very appropriate and relevant for Cliffs to be represented, literally, on the fabric of the Cavs player jerseys.”
Since 1847, Cliffs has been headquartered in Cleveland and operating in the Great Lakes Region. The company’s headquarters is located in downtown Cleveland, less than a half-mile from the home of the Cavaliers, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cliffs has a long-standing relationship with the team and their own entitlement branding to one of the marquee north entry points into the glass atrium of the newly transformed and completely modernized FieldHouse. Cliffs is the largest steel manufacturer for multinational automobile manufacturers like Ford and Toyota. Not only that but, Cliffs is also the only steel company to have a jersey patch partnership within the NBA.
“Cleveland-Cliffs is proud of our partnership with the Cavaliers and the NBA, for our employees, their families, their communities and the entire Great Lakes Region," said Lourenco Goncalves, Cleveland-Cliffs' Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The Cavs stand out as a unique and authentic showcase for the importance of teamwork with its talented players, coaching staff and management team, coming together strategically to win.
"Cleveland-Cliffs is no different. We are made by our 26,000 employees. These people, situated across the entire Great Lakes region, are talented and dedicated, working together to execute a well-thought strategy to produce a vital material, steel, that is woven into the fabric of everyday modern life. The power of this Cliffs-Cavs partnership is our common culture of teamwork, family and community, which are fundamental to our ongoing success. The journey together will be rewarding, and winning is about the whole team.”
Cliffs also announced on Tuesday that the partnership will yield a very special community benefit for Boys & Girls Clubs throughout communities in which Cleveland-Cliffs operates. The Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation is proud to pledge $500,000 of new funding to clubs serving in or near host communities. Area Clubs will be invited to apply for grant dollars to support capital and program expenses that encourage healthy lifestyles. The Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation’s announcement aligns with the Company’s commitment to having a positive impact in the areas where it operates. Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis later this year.
"At the end of the day, that's what this is all about," said Goncalves to Right Down Euclid. "Neither the Cavaliers nor Cliffs would be here without Cleveland. It's our home and that's why it's so important to give back to the community however we can. But, it's not just there that's important for us. We want to give back to Northern Indiana and other midwestern communities as well."
Speaking of Northern Indiana, Gary native and Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland, alongside Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations, Koby Altman and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, was in attendance for Tuesday's announcement. Cavaliers President of Business Operations Nic Barlage shared that when Garland, who has family that works in the steel industry, was partnering with Cleveland-Cliffs, it resonated with him almost right away.
“I will be very proud to wear the Cleveland-Cliffs logo on my jersey starting next season,” said Garland. “Being from Gary, Indiana, I know first-hand how important Cliffs and steel are to communities, both here in Cleveland and across our region. Every time I put this jersey on and see the Cliffs patch on the chest, I’ll be reminded of these people and motivated by the hard-working mentality that they bring every day.”
The Cleveland-Cliffs logo will join the Cavaliers uniform rotation starting immediately with the 2022-23 NBA season. Until then, the Goodyear Wingfoot, which has been with the team since the 2017-18 season, will remain on Cleveland's kit. But, when next season comes along, it feels almost fitting that the Cavaliers will have a new jersey sponsor on their chest. Cleveland will be beginning a new era with higher expectations after this season. To have a local company, instead of a national chain, makes it even more special.
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