NBA Playoffs: Nike and the Cavs Make Interesting Marketing Moves

The image above is of the infamous “We Are All Witnesses”  billboard that is featured across from Quicken Loans Arena.  Though while it still predominantly features LeBron James in the midst of his chalk toss, the tagline has been changed to “One For All.” 

The move is likely related to the latest bout of shirts and posters that were given to Cavalier fans on Monday night prior to the recognition of LeBron James’ second MVP award.  But instead of providing the city with a new billboard, Nike opted to simply put a black patch of material over the old slogan, resembling the look of a bad photoshop job. 

In fact, I would not blame anyone for asserting just that from looking at the image above.  It’s that blatant.  Recall that just a few months back, the Cleveland City Commission rejected a proposed update to the billboard from Nike for several reasons.  James was featured shirtless (with the Prepare for Combat scales) with nary a mention of Cleveland or the Cavaliers.  Alas, Nike opted to go the addendum route with their new campaign.

On the not-as-corporate side, we have this year’s version of the giant jerseys that hung from the terminal tower one season ago.  This season, the Cavaliers have placed giant headbands around the statues that line Cleveland’s Memorial Bridge.  While not as visible from afar, the concept is backed by the team and plays into their latest campaign of “Band Together.”

The “Band Together” campaign is one that urges fans to wear team-provided headbands and wristbands to show unity in believing that the Cavaliers will in fact bring home a championship this season.  Fans that did not receive the elastic-clad gear can purchase their own at local KeyBank branches with the proceeds going to the Cleveland Youth Fund.

“Band Together is a fun, easy way for fans to show the world we are ‘All Together’ behind the team and in our community as we pursue the ultimate goal of bringing home an NBA Championship,” said Cavaliers President Len Komoroski. “As we band together as a community of fans, we also have the opportunity to assist at-risk youth in our community, via the Cavaliers Youth Fund. This gives Band Together an even greater ability to have a very special impact during this exciting playoff run.”

  • humboldt

    The statue on the bridge looks like Delonte West. Loved when they showed that image in the opening sequence of Major League

  • Denny

    I can’t get over how bad that patch-job looks.

  • CP

    I smell a photoshop contest…

  • Billy Thomas

    How about “My elbow hurts!” instead?

  • Tommy

    Don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist but maybe they didn’t want to redo the whole thing just in case it has to come down this summer.

  • mgbode

    i, for one, praise Nike in their cost-cutting manuevers during these tough times, which help keep their shoe costs so low.

    (above should be read in all-caps)

  • Harv 21

    Replacement caption: “Sweet Lord, give someone else on this team some cajones!”

  • Chris

    If Denny says it’s bad, good lord. LISTEN TO HIM, HE KNOWS WHAT HE SPEAKS OF.

  • DK

    /me wonders if Denny is talking about Pierce’s facial hair.

    *if you can even call it that.

  • Jewpants

    while watching one of the playoff games i was just thinking how tired the t-shirt give away/white out promotion is, and that they should get everyone in the stands to wear a headband

  • Matt#2

    Special powers?

  • Jack

    “One for All”

    Did Colin Cowherd or Tony Kornheiser start working with Nike marketing?

    Gotta admit…looks like they are trying to send a message to LeBron (at least something can be made of this).

    Like…a lot.

  • JK

    Umm.. How did they get those headbands around those statues?

  • Pingback: While We’re Waiting… About Mike Brown’s Old Cell Number | WaitingForNextYear()

  • Pingback: The One About SI’s Use of a Cavaliers Trademark on a Miami Heat Cover | WaitingForNextYear()