Cleveland Playoff Plates - A PartnerShip Tradition

06/11/2015 — Matt Nagel

From fantasy football leagues to Super Bowl squares to NCAA brackets, there seems to be additional gaming around every major sporting event. Most of these games have a potential payday that makes the added stress all worth while, but those winnings often end up parlayed into other sports why not play for something with true meaning that you'll treasure forever - like a carefully decorated Styrofoam plate

That's right, a plate has been the sole object of many PartnerShip employee's greatest desires over these past 2 months or so (right behind an NBA championship, of course). With our Cleveland Cavaliers in the midst of a historic postseason, we guess scores of each game and award the plate to the employee with the closest guess. The employee then proudly displays the plate outside of his or her workspace as a constant reminder of how much smarter they are than everyone else. In the event of a tie, the “PPGB - PartnerShip Plate Governing Board” has full authority to determine the winner via foosball match, rock-paper-scissors, or other measures. As you'd expect, the competition is fierce with this kind of prize at stake.

You may be asking yourself how such a sophisticated contest came about. Like many honored traditions, it had humble beginnings. The playoff plates were started back in 2007 when both the Cavs and Indians made postseason runs. Employees began guessing scores and, with a need to keep track of those scores, a plate was the only item to write on in reaching distance. From then on, the plate became a coveted and indispensable part of Cleveland playoff life at PartnerShip. 

The next question you're probably asking yourself is how the fantastic plate designs (like the one pictured in the upper right corner) are achieved. We caught up with Harry Centa (which was no easy task during "plate season" as he refers to this time of year), who holds the title of Playoff Plate Creative Director, and we asked about his artistic process when designing the plates.

"The keys to a good plate are symmetry, style, and symbolism, also known as the 3 S's of plate design." Harry went on to say, "I can't take all the credit, though. I receive help and input from many plate enthusiasts in the office."

Harry also made note of another important aspect of making a plate, saying "Very careful consideration must be lent to the player theme of each plate. We’ve had a Kyrie Irving tribute plate, a Kevin Love tribute plate, Tristan Thompson, and even whole team themes. The office favorite has to be the Matthew Dellavedova (Delly) plates, he’s a cult hero and there are a number of great directions and subtleties you can apply to the overall design of a Delly themed plate."

When it comes down to it, the plates add something a little extra to the already special experience of watching the hometown Cavaliers battle for a championshipPart superstition, part team-building, part bragging-rights, the playoff plate benefits are many and the fun is never-ending.

Awards & Affiliations

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Northcoast 99
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