The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the National Basketball Association’s most electrifying teams. The Ohio-based basketball club fields a roster brimming with all-star talent, and a team payroll that tops the league at $128m. Likewise, the team’s franchise player, Lebron James, is widely considered the greatest living basketball player, with growing player statistics that suggest his crown extends to the 71-year history of the NBA, and more recently, a lifetime sponsorship deal with Nike marking a new era of endorsement. Yet the team’s ongoing persistence to lead the league in all categories has resulted in a new design focus, refining the key pillars of its sporting success.
The rebrand was completed in collaboration with Nike’s Identity Group and includes a new wordmark. The new design builds on the Cavaliers’ reintroduction of its heritage wine and gold colours during the 2010-11 season, carrying the ‘C-sword’ as the logo’s central component, backdropped by two alternative shields – one black, the other navy and red. Nike took over as the league’s uniform provider last year, with the upcoming 2017-18 set to feature new kits and jersey sponsorships across the league. For the Cavaliers, a recent deal with multinational tire manufacturing company, Goodyear, will feature the company’s well-known ‘Wingfoot’ logo on upcoming Cavaliers collateral.
Tracy Marek, CMO at the Cleveland Cavaliers, says, “»While the foundation of the Cavaliers brand remains steeped in traditions that link generations of fans, it is important that our brand identity reflects who we are in the present and where we are going in the future.”
Marek’s comments come as the Cavaliers’ journey reaches a record-breaking apex. Five years ago, the Cavaliers suffered its biggest loss as a brand, with Lebron James’ widely-broadcast ‘Decision’ to leave the club hitting the franchise at its core. The team’s ranking slipped to an all-time low, tying a record for the longest losing streak in major American sports at 26 games. Yet upon Lebron’s return in 2014, the Cavaliers’ brand strength peaked with a 2016 NBA Championship – the first major sports title in the city since 1964.
The new logo suite features an in-depth breakdown of each new design component, with full rollout scheduled for the 2017-18 NBA season beginning in October 2017.