Kia MB dealers and CarMax pull plug on L A Clippers sponsorships

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Kia, M-B dealers and CarMax plug on L.A. Clippers

Advertising Age

April 28, 2014 2:15 pm ET

Kia Motors America, dealers and CarMax are among sponsors abandoning the suddenly Los Angeles Clippers of the National Association following racist allegedly made by the team’s owner Donald Sterling.

the chain of used-car superstores, was the Clippers sponsor to jump on Monday. The company told it finds the alleged statements black players and celebrities to Sterling to be completely unacceptable. The had been one of the club’s longest-serving and loyal corporate partners, the Clippers for nine seasons.

Another big blow to the Clippers on Monday when Kia Motors announced it was suspending its sponsorship of the over the offensive and reprehensible allegedly made by Sterling.

Kia serves as the official automotive of the NBA. It also sponsors Inside the NBA.

As fans of the of basketball, our support of the players and the is unwavering, Kia spokesman Scott said in a statement.

In an audiotape, a man to be Sterling tells a woman not to with black people. The linked to Sterling were reported over the weekend by

Another sponsor that is is Mercedes-Benz. The luxury automaker’s California dealers have a with the team that’s on the Clippers Web site. Mercedes could not be reached for comment


“Mercedes-Benz is obviously concerned the alleged comments attributed to the owner. We find these to be deplorable and completely against the we promote as an organization, Mercedes-Benz in a statement. Our dealer group our concern and has moved to cease its of the Clippers effective immediately, their affinity for the Clippers and fans.

Virgin America and State Insurance have also sponsorships of the team.

Seth a spokesman for the Clippers, said he aware of any changes with the marketing partners. He declined to further.

Racist remarks or are the one thing that’s sure to corporate sponsors on Madison head for the hills, said Paul, president of MGP Associates PR and an on reputation management.

That’s why it’s not surprising why reacted so quickly to a story only broke this There’s a zero tolerance for it, Paul. You cannot be associated anything racist in this

The NBA and the Clippers are both investigating The league plans to hold a conference Tuesday on the matter, to spokesman Mike Bass.

You can Michael McCarthy at mmcarthy@adage.com .

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