The NBA won’t release the results of its investigation into the alleged racist remarks by owner Donald Sterling, but the comments are already having a financial impact on the team. Red Bull, Virgin America, CarMax and State Farm all severed their sponsorship and marketing deals with the L.A. Clippers today.
UPDATE (5:32 p.m. ET): All sponsors associated with the Clippers have either terminated or suspended their sponsorship of the team. A little after 5 p.m. Buzzfeed reported that Corona, the last remaining sponsor, suspended it's sponsorship of the team.
Also this afternoon, AQUAhydrate, Kia, Spring, LoanMart, Amtrak, Lumber Liquidators, Mercedes-Benz and Yokohama Tire Company all ceased their sponsorship of the company.
State Farm and CarMax were the first advertisers to pull out. State Farm’s Steve Stoute went on ESPN’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” to say that State Farm would not sponsor the Clippers as long as Sterling remained owner of the team. “I’m telling the brands, ‘Let’s pull sponsorship,’ starting with State Farm,” Stoute said. “When you have things like this taking place, somebody has to stand up.”
Also this morning, CarMax said it was ending its nine-year relationship with the Clippers via the following statement:
“CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner completely unacceptable. These views directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals. While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for 9 years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship.”
Virgin America and Red Bull also announced they were severing their relationships with the L.A. Clippers this afternoon.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver will host a press conference on Sterling’s comments at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST tomorrow.