Kia, Mercedes-Benz and CarMax drop LA Clippers backing after owner’s racist remarks

Article by Christian A., on April 30, 2014

The alleged racist remarks by Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association, have led several corporate backers – like Kia Motors America, Mercedes-Benz dealers and CarMax -- to drop their sponsorship of the team. CarMax was the first sponsor to abandon the Clippers.

The used-car retail giant told ESPN that it finds Sterling’s alleged statements about black players and celebrities to be "completely unacceptable." CarMax has been sponsoring the LA Clippers for nine seasons. Following CarMax’s lead is Kia Motors America, which said it was suspending its sponsorship of the Clippers over the "offensive and reprehensible" comments allegedly made by its billionaire owner.

Kia also serves as the official automotive partner of the NBA and sponsors TNT's "Inside the NBA." Kia spokesman Scott McKee said in a statement that as fans of the game of basketball, the carmaker’s support of the players and the sport “is unwavering." Mercedes-Benz’s dealers in Southern California dealers are also abandoning the Clippers.

Mercedes-Benz said in a statement that it is concerned about the alleged comments attributed to the Sterling. It said that the comments are deplorable and completely against the values Mercedes promotes as an organization.

Mercedes-Benz added that its dealer group shares the company’s concern and has moved to terminate its sponsorship of the Clippers.

Other corporate sponsors that have dropped their backing of the Clippers are Virgin America and State Farm Insurance. Entertainment news agency TMZ first reported about the Sterling’s alleged racist remarks.

It released an audiotape in which a man said to be Sterling is telling a woman allegedly his girlfriend not to associate openly with black people. Mike Paul, president of MGP & Associates PR and an expert on reputation management, told Advertising Age that racist remarks or attitudes can surely to make corporate sponsors “on Madison Avenue head for the hills.” [source: automotive news - sub. required]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

The Europe-bound WRC hatch developed by Toyota and Gazoo Racing team will be limited to just 400 examples as reported by AutoCar this week. Otherwise known as Gazoo Racing Masters...
by - July 21, 2017
Even cops get excited when they’re assigned to drive the best cars in the market. In Austria, police officers drive around in a Porsche 911 Carrera while in Milan, authorities...
by - July 21, 2017
Subaru has already announced that the all new Impreza will be out by fall this year. The 2018 model year not only gets a number of new upgrades, but it...
by - July 21, 2017
Do you ever wonder what challenges automakers have in selling limited edition cars? It’s different for each company but it can get stressful if the demand is high instead of...
by - July 21, 2017
Alpine is said to be developing an SUV which is believed to be the Porsche Macan’s closest rival. According to AutoExpress, the newly revived performance brand has been looking to...
by - July 20, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries