CLEVELAND -- LeBron James announced last week that he has no intentions of leaving the Cavaliers this summer after winning the first pro championship for his city in 52 years. Now his likeness, shown on an iconic 10-story-tall Nike banner hanging from the Sherwin-Williams headquarters downtown, isn't going anywhere, either.
Sherwin-Williams announced Tuesday that the James banner, which was originally scheduled to be replaced by a new banner this summer commemorating the company's 150th anniversary, will continue to hang. In addition, Sherwin-Williams will donate $150,000 to the LeBron James Family Foundation.
"For 150 years, Sherwin-Williams has been proud to call Cleveland our home, and we're committed to doing the right thing for the people of this great city," said John Morikis, president and CEO of Sherwin-Williams, in a statement. "For the last year, we've been planning to hang a celebratory banner outside our building during the summer months. But what better way to celebrate our 150th year than with a NBA championship. As a longtime supporter of the Cavs, and the entire community, we want the energy and excitement in this city to continue."
The banner, located across the street from Quicken Loans Arena, has become a popular tourist destination for visitors to Cleveland. It was installed before the Cavs' home opener in October 2014 after James returned for a second stint with the team.
James himself posed in front of it with his arms outstretched during the Cavs' championship parade last week, a parade that Sherwin-Williams co-sponsored.
When word spread that James' banner was scheduled to come down, more than 20,000 people supported a petition on Change.org to keep it up. Petition organizer Kathy Springer of Macedonia, Ohio, wrote, in part, "The banner is a symbol of persistence, promise and pride in the Cleveland Cavaliers and Northeastern Ohio. Removing this banner will be a travesty to what we call Cleveland."