Goodyear may be most famous in the sports world for its blimp, with the Goodyear Blimp being a ubiquitous presence in the sky at so many iconic sporting events in history. But the logo patch you see on the Cleveland Cavaliers jerseys is the arguably more iconic Wingfoot logo of Goodyear. (History: Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization to make better rubber in 1839; the Wingfoot logo, inspired by the god Mercury, was introduced in 1900 and first used in ads in 1901.) For the 2017-18 NBA season Goodyear has done an admirable job of making its Wingfoot logo patch fit unobtrusively on the Cavs jerseys. Perhaps it’s because Goodyear has an advantage over some of the other brands stamping themselves on NBA jerseys. Unlike, say, the GE logo on Celtics jerseys, the golden Wingfoot already makes sense thematically for a high-flying NBA team, especially one from Goodyear’s home state of Ohio. Think about it: new Cavaliers Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade, for example, already seem to be wearing shoes with wings that we can’t quite see. Indeed, most of the Cavs can fly.
The other brand message Goodyear conveys with the Cavaliers partnership is based on the concept of drive. The Cavaliers have drive and so does Goodyear. That’s “drive” in the sense of “ambitious hard work to achieve goals” and — in Goodyear’s case — the literal aspect of drive: the Ohio-based rubber and tire manufacturer makes driving possible for millions with its category-leading tires. (For the Cavs, LeBron James charging down the lane makes driving literal, too.) It’s that hard drive and the shared location that fuel the Cavs-Goodyear partnership. As the video below tells Cavs fans about the relationship between the two winning organizations, Goodyear and the Cleveland Cavaliers are: “Neighbors by birth. Teammates at last.” As part of the deal, the Cavs and Goodyear are donating $1 million to help STEM programs in local schools in Cleveland and Akron (where LeBron grew up). For the latest — and for vintage — Cavaliers jerseys and gear, visit the Cavaliers section at the NBA Store.