When Breaking Up Is Not So Hard To Do: LA Clippers' Partners Suspend Support

Auburn_Sigurdson_web101 Auburn Sigurdson, Senior Partnership Architect & Brand Builder

Birds of a feather.

The company you keep.

You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.

Well, fifteen sponsors of the LA Clippers (so far) have made the choice to suspend their friendship with the NBA club in response to allegations of racist remarks from club owner Donald Sterling.

This is an incredibly unfortunate situation for any sponsor – nobody goes into a relationship anticipating ‘divorce’. Building a marketing partnership through sponsorship takes time, due diligence and a bit of soul searching to validate the alignment of values, objectives and brand character. It results in a marriage of mutual goals, respect, and a common vision to join forces to enhance the consumer experience.

Aligning your brand with another can be risky (see above), but when done well – can deliver exponential results.

Why do brands choose sponsorship? We believe the power of sponsorship lies in the opportunity to harness consumer passion, loyalty and ritual. By activating your partnership to enhance the basketball fan experience, whether at the game or at home in their living rooms, builds an authentic connection between your brand and your market.

That said, when your partner crosses the line and your audience cries foul, you have to respond.

With fifteen sponsors throwing their proverbial Clippers shirts on the court in protest, there are surely more to follow, and we don’t blame them.

Looking forward to following along as the story unfolds. #TeamMagic