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Volume 23 No. 13
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Shelly Cayette, Cleveland Cavaliers

Photo: Cleveland Cavaliers
Photo: Cleveland Cavaliers
Photo: Cleveland Cavaliers

As the Cleveland Cavaliers put the finishing touches on their $200 million arena renovation, Shelly Cayette has been leading the team’s related massive sponsorship sales efforts.

Among the big deals negotiated by Cayette in the past 12 months is a renegotiated arena naming-rights extension with Quicken Loans that rebrands the arena into the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse from the previous Quicken Loans Arena and more than a dozen other arena title sponsorship areas.

Shelly Cayette

Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships, Cleveland Cavaliers

Born: Baton Rouge, La.
Education: Tulane University, A.B., Freeman School of Business

Other major sponsorship deals signed under her watch are the team’s Cleveland Clinic Courts practice facility and the massive jersey patch rights deal with Goodyear.

Cayette, who played on the women’s basketball team at Tulane University, began her career with the then New Orleans Hornets and joined the Cavs in 2012. 

Over her seven-year tenure, the Cavs have seen a 150% boost in partnership revenue and last season ranked third in the NBA in sponsorship revenue.

“This past year, the biggest piece has been the transformation of our building,” she said. “Over the last 12 months, we had to renew all our major partners, sell three main arena entrances and over 12 entitlements within the space. We are talking significant multiyear deals and leading within the time frame has been a major accomplishment.” — John Lombardo

Getting to know...

Guilty pleasure: Wine … I would say innocent pleasure.

Something that your friends would consider “so you”: Traveling.

Attributes I look for when hiring: Proactive mentality, confidence, proven ability to figure things out (in challenging environments).

Woman in sports business you’d like to meet: Serena Williams. Being a dominant force on the tennis court and excelling at the highest level at her game on the court, Serena has found a way to capitalize that talent in the business world with endorsement deals with top brands … [and] defining how she wants to be associated with these brands and where to activate. On top of that she has been able to launch a venture firm to invest in women, minorities and young entrepreneurs all the while having a baby later in her career, which I can align with.