Going Global: Cavs Love Partnership With Chinese Brewery

Justice HillCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2009

QINGDAO, SHANDONG - AUGUST 25:  A worker inspects the bottles of Tsingtao beer before they are shipped out of the brewery at the Tsingtao beer factory on August 25, 2006 in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China. Tsingtao Beer Group, China's biggest beer brewery and the Official Domestic Beer Sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, hosts the 16th Qingdao International Beer Festival in Qingdao from August 12 to 26.  (Photo by Cancan Chu/Getty Images)
Cancan Chu/Getty Images

    It was a gigantic step.

    Of course, the Cavaliers had made bold moves like this before. Two years ago, they had stepped into the global world when they played three exhibition games in China.

    LeBron James and the Gang exposed the country and its people to the NBA's brand of basketball. The team was a smash hit -- as big as anything seen on Broadway.

    But bigger things were there for the franchise, and team officials couldn't let this initial economic opportunity slip away, could they?

    Absolutely not.

    Since then, Cavaliers officials have been negotiating with a Chinese company to sell it a "substantial" stake in the franchise. Those talks are winding toward a conclusion, helping to push the Cleveland Cavalier brand deeper into the Chinese psyche. Yet even this was just a starting point for an economic foothold there.

    On Monday, the franchise deepened its penetration into this two-billion-person market when team officials signed a marketing deal withTsingtao Brewery Co., the largest beer brewer in China and the seventh largest in the world.

    "This is certainly symbolic," said Len Komoroski, team president. "We are very excited that Tsingtao shares the same values that we do. We look forward to working with them to create a positive impact in Northeast Ohio."

    Tsingtao (pronounced CHING dow) will partner with the Cavaliers on a number of local initiatives, and its beer brand will have a prominent place inside Quicken Loans Arena with permanent signage, Komoroski said. The beermaker will team with the Cavaliers on cultural and educational programs in the region.

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