BOSTON — Goodyear’s purchasing of ad space on Cavaliers jerseys beginning next season is paying off for the Akron tire company already.
LeBron James is wearing Goodyear gear.
James wore a throwback, Goodyear Wingfoots jersey to Cavs practice Thursday at TD Garden, between Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. It was a No. 2 jersey with Kyrie Irving’s name on the back.
James told cleveland.com he just received the jersey this week as part of the Cavs’ new partnership with Goodyear and Turner Sports, in which the Goodyear wingfoot logo will appear on the team’s jersey for three seasons in an arrangement that will make the basketball organization $10 million annually.
A Goodyear spokeswoman said each Cavs player was given a jersey with his own name and number as a gift commemorating the new partnership. “The hope is always get exposure like this, but we had no idea he would be wearing it in post practice interviews,” the spokeswoman said.
Just a Kid From Akron. @KingJames rocking the 1964 throwback Akron @Goodyear Wingfoots (Kyrie) jersey at today’s practice! #MoreDriven pic.twitter.com/XZ7GkzhUJJ
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 18, 2017
The Goodyear Wingfoots were a professional basketball team and winners of the first championship in the National Basketball League in 1938. The jersey on James’ back was from the 1964 AAU championship Wingfoots team.
When the Cavs-Goodyear partnership was announced Monday, tire company president Richard Kramer said the was attractive because “outside of the opportunity to be a partner with a world-class organization like the Cleveland Cavaliers, in one word the answer to the question is ‘connection.’
“Connection between Goodyear and basketball, the connection between Goodyear and the Cavs, and the connection between Goodyear and our community here in northeast Ohio,” Kramer said.