Sponsors, Agencies React To Clippers Scandal
Lots of rumors have been flying around this morning about how sponsors will or will not react to the developing scandal with L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Here's what we know at this time. We'll update with more sponsor developments as they become available.
State Farm's agency, Translation, says it is advising clients (including current sponsor, State Farm) to suspend sponsorship until the scandal is fully investigated.
CarMax, a Clippers sponsor for nine years, has decided to end its sponsorship of the team, according to a public relations official with the company.
Anheuser-Busch statement: “We fully support the NBA’s efforts to investigate quickly & trust that they will take appropriate action.”
Virgin America has made the decision to end its sponsorship, per CNBCSportsBiz
Kia and Red Bull say they are suspending sponsorship activations with the team.
Aquahydrate, Corona, Lumber Liquidators, Sprint, Diageo and Yokohama have all suspended activities with the team, while Chumash Casino Resort is withdrawing its sponsorship of the team, as is Southern California Mercedes-Benz Dealers.
The NBA has scheduled a 2PM Tuesday press conference today to discuss the matter.
Update 4/29: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has issued a lifetime ban for Donald Sterling, effectively banning him from all NBA venues, practice facilities and from managing the business decisions of the team. When asked about sponsor response to the issue, Silver urged sponsors to "judge us by our response." Silver added that he did not know the exact financial impact from sponsor reaction, but understands the sponsor reaction and is hopeful that there will be no long term damage. Silver said he will do his best to bring sponsors back into the NBA family. A full transcript of Commissioner Silver's remarks is available here.
Update 4/30: At last night's game, much of the Staples Center's sponsor signage was covered in black fabric. Adidas reinstated its marketing partnership, but chose to replace its ads and logos with the Clippers' team logo and the slogan "We Are One."