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CarMax will no longer sponsor Clippers, Donald Sterling

CarmMax

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:

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.

Magic Johnson reportedly interested in buying Clippers

Magic JohnsonThe pressure on Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers is only going to increase by the day. The NBA wants him out, and league commissioner Adam Silver is expected to make a decision on possible disciplinary action against Sterling by Tuesday. If the most stubborn owner in the NBA does decide to sell the team, Magic Johnson reportedly wants in.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Johnson is “absolutely interested” in purchasing the Clippers with the help of his billionaire backers the Guggenheim Partners. Sterling would never go down without a fight, but it is within the realm of possibility that Silver and the NBA could force him to turn over the team.

As Wojnarowski noted, Johnson and his people are looking to build a sports empire in Southern California. After cleansing the Los Angeles Dodgers of what had become a miserable ownership group in recent years, Johnson and Guggenheim inquired about purchasing the Los Angeles Lakers. The Buss family made it clear that the team is not for sale, but you get the point.

“This is 100 percent Magic’s plan,” a league source familiar with buying and selling franchises told Yahoo! Sports.

Sterling is always going to be viewed as a racist, and deservedly so. If you didn’t already know he was a bigot, the recent audio recordings that were released should remove all doubt. Unfortunately, Johnson was specifically targeted during Sterling’s rant. If there is a “best thing” Sterling can do in this situation, it would be to move aside and allow one of the people he disrespected to take over the franchise.

Newark Bears hold liquidation auction at stadium

Newark-BearsThe Newark Bears finished with a record of 37-63 in the Can-Am League last season. Those certainly weren’t the results ownership was looking for, but it’s no reason to board the place up and put a “for sale” sign out front, right? Wrong.

Last November, the Can-Am League announced that the Bears would not operate in 2014. On Saturday, the team held an “everything must go” sale at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark. According to The Star-Ledger, everything from tarps and lawn mowers to the team bus was open for bidding. Apparently playing in a region filled with New York Yankees and New York Mets fans simply became too much to overcome for the Bears.

“At one point we gave away 1,000 tickets and only a few people showed up,” team owner Doug Spiel said.

Dave Sosidka, one of the few remaining Bears fans, went to the auction on Saturday. He didn’t intend to buy anything, but instead compared the fire sale to attending a wake.

“It’s like going to a wake, like saying goodbye to an old friend,” Sosidka explained. “It was always a lot of fun. The first time we came I was picked to run on the field in a Ragu spaghetti sauce costume in one those on-field promotions. We brought our dog for ‘Bark at the Park’ night.”

Now, Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium has been left for college, high school, and possibly Little League games. The city of Newark and Essex County will have to pay for the ballpark through 2029, and they will continue to search for a new team that can somehow turn a profit.

For the time being, a team that former MLB players like Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco Carl Everett and one of LBS’ favorite players once called their own has become a thing of the past.

H/T Eye on Baseball

DeSean Jackson has to pay Drew Rosenhaus more than $500,000

Drew RosenhausWashington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson was ordered to pay his former agent, Drew Rosenhaus, more than half a million dollars on Wednesday. Rosenhaus filed a grievance last year alleging that Jackson owed him $700,000 after the two parted ways.

A source told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Jackson, who ending up signing with Joel Segal after rumors that he would join Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, will have to pay Rosenhaus $516,415 in loans and fees. Arbitrator Roger Kaplan announced that the ruling had gone in Rosenhaus’ favor on Tuesday.

Rosenhaus negotiated the five-year, $48 million contract Jackson signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in March 2012. A report last year said that Jackson took multiple loans from Rosenhaus since he hired him in November 2009.

NFL teams to offer service where fans can order cheerleader to their seat

Hunter-Mahan-Engaged-to-Dallas-Cowboys-Cheerleader-Kandi-Harris-4

Ever been to an NFL game and felt that the gorgeous cheerleaders patrolling the sidelines were so close yet so far away? You almost feel like you could reach out and touch them, but they’re just a little too far and, most importantly, following through on that desire might constitute a crime.

Thanks to the latest in technology, fans will soon be closer than ever to cheerleaders.

Sports Business Journal revealed on Monday that a few teams have partnered with app developer Experience to develop technology that will allow fans to order upgrades when they get to the stadium for a game. The perks will include stuff like getting on the field before a game or having a cheerleader come to your seat.

According to Darren Rovell, the Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are three teams that have already agreed to offer the premium experiences. League officials were expected to encourage other owners to adopt the technology at the NFL meetings this week.

The Falcons actually began offering some of the services to 3,000 of their season ticket holders last season.

“Anything from pregame on-field, to a birthday message, to cheerleader visits, to mascot visits, to the fly-by pass, which is a dedicated lane where you don’t wait to get into the stadium,” Falcons CEO Jim Smith explained. “All the experiential things sold out within the first four hours they were made available.”

[Related: Bengals cheerleaders divided by real vs. fake boobs]

Teams have spent significant time and resources over the past few years coming up with ways to improve the in-stadium experience. Stuff like offering wireless internet at games and showing fantasy stats on stadium scoreboards has done that, but plenty of people are perfectly content watching games on their 60-inch high definition TVs. But can they order a cheerleader to come visit them in their seat? Well, they could probably order someone in a cheerleader outfit … let’s not get into that.

FAMOUS CHEERLEADER DAUGHTERS
Tony LaRussa’s daughter is an Oakland Raiders cheerleader
Doug Flutie’s daughter is a New England Patriots cheerleader

Mark Cuban: NFL is 10 years from imploding

mark-cubanDallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is one of the most intelligent businessmen in the world. He made his own fortune — which is rumored to be well over $2 billion — with a series of successful investments and business decisions. So when Cuban says the NFL is 10 years from “imploding,” there’s reason to believe he may be onto something.

On Sunday, Cuban spoke about how the NFL is at risk of overexposure. The NFL has already announced that CBS will feature Thursday night games next season. There will also be two Saturday games on CBS later in the year and has been speculation that Wednesday night football could be a possibility in the future.

“When pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered,” Cuban said, via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. “And they’re getting hoggy. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns against you.”

The NFL is currently putting out its strongest product ever, with fantasy football at the peak of its popularity. As a result, ratings remain fairly high even when teams like the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns meet in a meaningless matchup. Cuban cautioned that it won’t always be that way.

“They’re trying to take over every night of TV,” he said. “And initially, it’ll be the biggest rating thing there is. Then, if they get Saturday, now they’re impacting college. And then if they go to Wednesday, at some point, people get sick of it.

“It drives you in a different direction. Now, it’s ‘my team’s game is on Wednesday.’ Or, ‘now my team’s on Thursday.’ It was just so easy when I could plan on Sunday or maybe Monday. And if you get no days off in football and your team is playing one of those days, it’s just one of the rules I use: when pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. Fantasy football, people pay attention to it. But we’ll see.”

While it’s hard to imagine people getting sick of NFL football, Cuban’s theory makes sense. Tracking fantasy plays on weeknights or Saturdays (when there could be a game like Auburn-Alabama being played) is one thing. But people could eventually get annoyed if their team plays on five different nights throughout the course of a season. Will it result in an “implosion” for the NFL? That seems like a stretch, but perhaps Thursday, Saturday and even Wednesday football simply won’t last.

Report: Michael Vick would make fuss about No. 7 jersey in contract negotiations with Jets

michael-vickMichael Vick has worn No. 7 throughout his entire career. He wore the jersey number at Virginia Tech and has worn it during all 11 of his NFL seasons. Vick is currently a free agent, and one of the teams said to be interested in signing him is the New York Jets. He’ll reportedly get a chance to compete with Geno Smith for the starting job if New York signs him, but that’s not all Vick would be competing for.

Smith, who the Jets drafted to be their quarterback of the future, currently wears No. 7. According to TMZ, that could be a “big issue” for Vick if he negotiates a contract with the Jets. Vick has a clothing line called V7, and the brand name would make little sense if he stopped wearing the number.

While noting that the jersey situation wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for Vick, TMZ speculated that the 33-year-old could want more money if he can’t have No. 7. That seems pretty insane to me.

I get that Vick has a brand associated with the No. 7. I also get that a starting quarterback might be less likely to give up his number than a reserve player who is allowing a veteran to wear it. That said, teams aren’t exactly banging down the doors to sign Vick. If he gets an opportunity to compete for a starting job, he’d be wise to take it even if he has to wear No. 56.

H/T SI Hot Clicks