Cleveland Cavaliers and Tsingtao Brewery Historic agreement signed at Quicken Loans Arena December 14, 2009
On December 14, 2009 at a press conference at Quicken Loans Arena, Tsingtao Brewery Co. signed a multi-year agreement with the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers to become the exclusive Chinese beer of Quicken Loans Arena.
The partnership is the first between Tsingtao (pronounced CHING dow), China's most popular beer company, and an NBA team and arena in the United States.
The announcement was made jointly by Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena President, Len Komoroski and Tsingtao President of Global Marketing, Ms. Xu Yan.
Cleveland Cavalier legend Austin Carr, QSL CEO Kenny Huang and Cavs GM Danny Ferry watch as Ms. Xu Yan and Len Komoroski sign the agreement
"As the NBA's presence and global popularity grows by leaps and bounds in Asia, the Cavaliers are proud to be part of the forefront of NBA teams in establishing these types of relationships," said Komoroski. "Teaming up with the best selling Chinese beer in the world and showcasing Tsingtao to our fans at Quicken Loans Arena is very exciting for us."
In addition to being the exclusive Chinese beer of Quicken Loans Arena, the Tsingtao partnership elements include:
LED signage during Cavaliers games and Quicken Loans Arena events
Permanent signage inside Quicken Loans Arena for all arena events (close to 200 annually)
Basket pole pad signage for Cavaliers games
Hospitality benefits during Cavaliers game and Quicken Loans Arena events
Ad placement in Tip Off Tonight, the Cavaliers official game night program
Strong presence on digital properties, cavs.com and CavFanatic.com
Community relations outreach program designed to educate and share cultural ideas in northeast Ohio
"This is a win-win partnership between the Cavaliers, Quicken Loans Arena and Tsingtao. The Cavaliers' large, passionate fan base and the excitement of everything at The Q are a good match for Tsingtao," said Yan. "Meanwhile, the NBA and the Cavaliers will continue to strengthen their outreach to fans in China as the popularity and promotion of the game continues to expand in China and around the world. We also look forward to extending our relationship to the charity sector here in the future to help share Tsingtao's brand positioning of passion, success and happiness."
Representing the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena in the signing ceremony were Len Komoroski the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena President and Danny Ferry the Cavaliers General Manager.
Representing Tsingtao were Ms. Xu Yan, Tsingtao's President of Sales and Marketing and Mr. Guo Yu Sun. The event was attended by a delegation of 18 Tsingtao representatives from China and special guests.
A performance by the Tsingtao Dancers and Cavalier Girls was a highlight along with a Tsingtao beer toast for well over 100 attendees.
China is viewed as a very large and strategically important growth market for the NBA with over 300 million people playing basketball (that's the entire population of the US!) and even more engaged with the sport at some level. The NBA is the most watched sports league in China coupled with China being the league's largest market outside the United States and Canada.
At first glance, this doesn't seem like a big deal except to the parties involved. Was there competition to become the exclusive Chinese beer at the Q? Probably not. But it is major news because it is another reminder to those of us in business that we operate in a global economy.
We consider the team to be "our Cavs", and they are, but the rest of the world is staking their claim. The popularity of the Cavaliers in China continues to grow. During the 2009-10 season, 34 Cavs games are slated for broadcast on television in China.
In addition, several of the largest sports media outlets in China have representatives covering every Cavaliers home game and numerous games on the road as well. Remember in October of 2007 the Cavaliers traveled to China for three preseason games as part of the NBA's China Games. Two were played in Shanghai and one in Macao.
The press conference was held in Chinese and English as interpreters kept the audience informed.
The Cav's MC (right) was joined by an interpreter to translate for the multi-cultural audience
Introduction (in English and Chinese) of Cleveland Cavaliers and Tsingtao Brewery executives
Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena President Len Komoroski welcomes Tsingtao to Cleveland and speaks about the globalization of the NBA and how this agreement will connect Northeast Ohio and China in both basketball and in the community.
Tsingtao's Xu Yan and Cleveland Cavalier Anderson Varejao
Tsingtao President of Global Marketing Ms. Xu Yan tells why the agreement between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Tsingtao Brewery is a win-win for both organizations and also for the community and basketball fans in China and Cleveland.
Cavalier Girls meet with their Tsingtao dancer counterpart
The Cleveland Cavalier Girls Dance Team performs
Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry talks about the Cavs visit to China and the Tsingtao agreement
Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena President Len Komoroski and Tsingtao President of Global Marketing Ms. Xu Yan sign the contract. They are joined on stage by Cavs legends Austin Carr and Campy Russell and QSL's Kenneth Huang and Tsingtao's Mr. Guo Yu Sun
Len Komoroski and Ms. Xu Yan exchange gifts (including a Lebron James bobblehead) followed by Cavs GM Danny Ferry and Tsingtao's Guo Yu Sun. Then they sign a Cavaliers banner.
Len Komoroski and Ms. Xu Yan exchange gifts
Cleveland Cavs GM Danny Ferry exchanges gifts with Tsingtao's Mr. Guo Yu Sun
Cleveland Cavalier Anderson Varejao signs the banner
Danny Ferry, Kenneth Huang, Xu Yan, Len Komoroski, Guo Yu Sun and Campy Russell toast the agreement
What better way to seal the deal than with a toast of Tsingtao beer.
Cleveland Cavaliers Anderson Varejao, Leon Powe and Jamario Moon with Ms. Yan and a case of Tsingtao beer
Award-winning Tsingtao Dancers
Posing with Cleveland Cavalier and Lake Erie Monsters and the Tsingtao Dancers after signing the agreement.
Cleveland Cavalier Daniel Gibson with Ms. Yan
By the way, I had my first Tsingtao beer at the press conference - and it won't be my last.