The Los Angeles Clippers have officially lost their first sponsor as a direct result of owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist rant, as used car retailer CarMax has announced it will end it’s nine-year relationship with the team.
“CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner completely unacceptable,” a representative for the company reportedly told TMZ on Monday. “These views directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals. While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for nine years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship.”
Virgin America has decided to do the same:
Virgin America: We have made the decision to end our sponsorship of the L.A. Clippers
— Ryan Ruggiero (@RyanRuggiero) April 28, 2014
There have also been rumors that State Farm will end its relationship with the Clippers, though Darren Rovell tweeted that the insurance juggernaut is still in the process of evaluating the situation. Other sponsors are surely doing the same.
We see this all the time in sports when an individual or organization makes a major mistake. In this case, Sterling is an individual who happens to own the organization. Therefore, supporting the Clippers is supporting Sterling and fattening his wallet. Expect sponsors to continue dropping like flies unless Sterling agrees to sell the team or is somehow forced to do so.Google+