CLEVELAND — According to one source, Goodyear is getting quite a return on its decision last year to become the Cleveland Cavaliers' jersey sponsor.
The tire company's jersey patch sponsorship deal with the Cavaliers is believed to be third largest among NBA teams at about $10 million per year, but the deal goes way beyond the 2½-by-2½-inch spot on the front of the Cavs' uniforms. The agreement also includes season tickets, a suite, signage all over the court and a presence in Cavs community initiatives such as their youth basketball program.
And Goodyear, according to a recent analysis, is getting a return on its investment.
GumGum, an artificial intelligence company, estimates that the NBA's jersey patch deals will generate $350 million in value to the sponsors—and that's just on social media.
The firm's analysis says the Cavs have the league's top-performing jersey patch, followed by the Warriors, Celtics, Lakers and Knicks. Golden State's deal with Rakuten reportedly is for a league-high $20 million a year, and the Lakers' contract with Wish, at $12 million to $14 million annually, ranks second. The Cavs and Celtics (a reported $8 million per year from General Electric) round out the top four from an annual value standpoint.
The jersey patch, in fact, is the second-best NBA sponsorship placement, behind Nike's apparel deal with the league, according to GumGum's scoreboard. Ads on the basket stanchion, pole pad and court are third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
The majority of the league's jersey patch sponsorships are "closer to the $5 million figure," Forbes contributor Darren Heitner wrote last week.
Brian Kim, GumGum's senior vice president of product, told Heitner that the firm's jersey patch analysis "is a cost-equivalent model, which means that GumGum is quantifying the value equivalent to what the sponsor would have had to pay in advertising in order to generate the same exposure they got for their sponsorship. For example, in the case of broadcast TV, this would be how much did a 30-second commercial during that broadcast cost in order to purchase, and in the case of social media, it is how much does that social media platform charge for you to advertise on their platform."
GumGum's social media leaderboard also features the Cavs in a prominent position—as the NBA's second-most valuable, behind the Warriors.