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NBA Cavaliers reach jersey patch deal with Cleveland-Cliffs steel company

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Darius Garland #10 shoots Orlando Magic’s Admiral Schofield #25 and Chuma Okeke #3 during the second quarter at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on March 28, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio.

jason miller | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a patch sponsorship for the new jersey. The NBA franchise has reached an agreement with local steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs, the parties announced Tuesday.

Terms of the deal have not been made public, but according to people familiar with the deal, it matches the Cavs’ previous sponsorship deal with tire maker Goodyear. This pact was valued at $10 million per season.

The people declined to be named because the terms of the agreement are private.

The deal comes at just the right time for Cleveland-Cliffs. The Cavs are one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season, and they seem to be heading to the playoffs. The team is seventh in the NBA Eastern Conference. The last time the team made the playoffs was when LeBron James led them to a fourth consecutive NBA Finals in 2018, losing to the Golden State Warriors.

Cleveland-Cliffs would get increased national exposure if the Cavaliers qualified for the playoffs, because playoff berths mean more TV impressions for jersey patch partners.

Cleveland-Cliffs is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CLF”. It has a market cap of over $16 billion.

New Cavs jersey crest

Photo: Zack Yohman

In a statement announcing the partnership, Cavs CEO Len Komoroski called the company “the fabric of life here in Northeast Ohio.” Komoroski added that the deal is “very appropriate and relevant for Cliffs to be represented, literally, on the fabric of Cavs players’ jerseys.”

In the new deal, Cleveland-Cliffs will get in-arena signage at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, building on its current sponsorship deal with the team, which includes an arena entry naming rights slot. However, Cleveland-Cliffs will not get the Cavs’ practice jersey crest or virtual floor signage for locally broadcast games. Teams can bundle these assets into jersey patch deals to increase value.

NBA jersey patches have grown in popularity in the sports sponsorship market. Since the NBA launched its jersey patch program in 2017, team deals have brought in the league around $150 million a year. That figure is expected to increase to over $200 million for the 2021-22 season.

The Brooklyn Nets have the most expensive patch deal to date. In September 2021, CNBC reported that the Nets were making $30 million a year from online trading platform WeBull. The deal eclipsed the Golden State Warriors’ $20 million per season deal with Japan-based e-commerce company Rakuten. This deal was extended last year and expires after the 2022-23 season.

The new NBA team patch deals are expected to boost league sponsorship revenue, which hit a record $1.46 billion for the 2020-21 regular season, according to estimates from IEG, a consulting firm. advice on sports partnerships.