Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

L.A. Clipper's Donald Sterling Controversy: Dealers End Sponsorships

By DrivingSales News on Apr 28, 2014

52662acdbb151e50b35f240d07472a47.jpg?t=1

The loss of sponsors for the Los Angeles Clippers franchise continues to grow, with prestigious car dealers joining the ranks. Ever since allegations surfaced that Donald Sterling, the owner of the L.A. Clippers made racially inflammatory comments, a public relations firestorm has ensued.

Sterling allegedly spoke out to his girlfriend in terms of her association with African Americans. Since the recording of this conversation has come to light, protests and lost sponsors have been the result. The Clippers staged a silent protest before their playoff game Sunday evening, while teams such as the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets wore black socks as a sign of unity amidst the alleged scandal. This situation even caused President Obama to speak out on the topic. However, the President doesn’t support the team financially, where the Clippers publicly lost a lot of support Monday.

Among those sponsors lost were CarMax, which issued the following statement on their corporate website: “Car Max 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 it’s sponsorship.”

Kia Motors North America also dropped the Clippers. Scott McKee, a spokesman for Kia explained that, “ As fans of the game of basketball, our support of the players and the sport is unwavering. “ The comments that allegedly came from Sterling were found by Kia to be “Offensive and reprehensible,” thus the dropped sponsorship.

Finally, Mercedes-Benz, with it’s grouping of Southern California dealers is ending it’s sponsorship with the Clippers. A spokesman for Mercedes Benz reportedly had the following to say: “Mercedes-Benz is obviously concerned about the alleged comments attributed to the Clippers’ owner.  We find these comments to be deplorable and completely against the values we promote as an organization. Our dealer group shares our concern and has moved to cease its sponsorship of the Clippers effective immediately, despite their affinity for the Clippers and their fans.”

Comments

Some people might be all huffy about freedom of speech in cases like this however no law in the land can change the need for responsible speech. It's not something that can be controlled. People will react positively or negatively to things people say in public. And company's will do what they can to protect their image. These moves are of no surprise to me.

May 1, 2014

Comments 1 - 1 of 1

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

DrivingSales News' Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Hiring the right people is easier then you think.

    Your best prospects for future success will be those who closely match the best of what you already have. Gain an understanding of what keeps these people motivated and performing at peak ability. These are the traits you will need to advertise and hire for.Read post

  • Connecticut Ford Dealership Launches Chevy Marketing Campaign?

    At some point, "social" media stopped being "social" for many dealerships...who decided it's better to talk TO customers than to engage them. This marketing campaign with a Connecticut Ford dealership turns that concept upside down.Read post

  • The Quick Answer Scenario Makes More Sales Happen

    We all love to focus on leads. That's the name of the game in pretty much everything you do on your website. Many dealers are starting to understand that it's not all about leads since many people, particularly mobile visitors, are not filling out forms as they were in the past. Still, it's a big focus. One thing we've seen over the years is that sometimes a happy potential customer can be earned by simple customer service. When people come to your website, it can take a quick answer to an easy question that can be the difference in making a sale or not. Chat is the easiest way be there for your website visitors. Many people don't want to make a phone call and filling out a form to get a quick answer is not appropriate. Maybe they just want to see if a vehicle is available before they hop int he car. Perhaps they want to know if you take trade ins (yes, there are people who aren't sure). Whatever their need is, the presence of a chat operator to answer their questions is necessar...Read post

  • Getting Started with Local SEO

      Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO ofWikimotive. Each Friday, Tim breaks down ways dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.     As Google and other search engines change, SEO changes along with it. One of the biggest changes to SEO recently was an increased focused on local rankings.   Completely separate from organic rankings, local rankings are special packs of businesses that show up for specific keywords. The purpose of these packs is to make it easier for users to get quick information about local businesses.   This information often includes name, address, phone number (NAP), reviews, and a link to the business's website. If your business is doing things right, it will show up for all sorts of locally-focused keywords that will send you more and more visits from ready-to-buy users.   But even if you are showing up, that doesn't ensure you'll always show up or maintain your c...Read post

  • Look Outside Automotive

    While arguing with my dear friend Larry Bruce about the benefits of mobile (I'm very much for, he's more skeptical) I came across this AMAZING study from Deloitte. Of course he attacked it because isn’t automotive centered, but I’d argue that we can learn from looking at outside perspectives. The study in entitled “The New Digital Divide - Retailers, shoppers, and the digital influence factor”. This report looks at how Digital influences in-store buying. In my mind this describes the current state of the retail automotive business to a ‘T’. We may being transformed into something more closely resembling eCommerce, but most dealerships are a long way from it today.Read post

  • Coaching Millennials At Your Dealership: 15 Quotes from March Madness Legends

    Around this time of year, every year, I am filled with mixed emotions. If the famous comedy and tragedy masks got together and had 20 little children masks, that family of emotions would properly represent how I feel during March Madness. With that being said, I still try to take every tournament with a grain of salt and enjoy it for what it is—the most exciting tournament in all of sports. (Yup, that’s how I feel about it soccer and cricket fans) The one thing that amazes me every year is the fact that some schools can have continuous success year after year. Even if you're not making it to the Final Four every so often, simply getting into the tournament and getting a win or two is an accomplishment in itself! It’s not easy to see the plural side of WIN in the NCAA tournament. Nevertheless, for some schools and their coaches, they make it look easy. There are specifically three coaches who’ve seen the most success in the NCAA tournament over the years, reaching the Final Four numerous times. In order to achieve this level of success in any sport, a team must have an exceptional leader with the kind of leadership skills that are applicable both on and off the court. The same leadership skills are needed for managing employees, especially the millennials at your dealership. While they might be the youngest of your employees, they still make up a solid percentage of the workforce and are an impressionable group that can excel under the right leaders. Therefore, it’s cruciRead post

  • Catch Spring Fever with Vehicle Detail

    Can you feel it? Are you ready for the change of seasons? Today is the official first day of spring! Retail outlets everywhere are starting to change up in-store marketing to highlight warmer weather, but more specifically spring. If your spring marketing isn’t underway, right now is the perfect time to get started. One way consumers celebrate spring is by cleaning and decluttering their lives… refresh and renew! Learn how you can capitalize on consumers’ need for cleanliness and drive additional traffic to your Service Department. Offer Tips Detailing a vehicle is somewhat of an art, so think about offering customers tips and tricks from your professionals. Things like how to get stains out of carpets, what materials to use to clean air ducts to remove odors, or what solution is best to use when trying to get tires to shine. Any tips will be greatly appreciated by your customers and will remind them that spring is a great time to detail their vehicle. Offer Specials Although o...Read post

  • What Google's Knowledge-Based Trust Proposal Means For Your Car Dealer Website

    Link building has long been the back bone of any SEO campaign but that may change in the future with the introduction of Google's proposal to rank sites based on the accuracy of information published. This approach may be the search engine's shift towards relying more on endogenous or on-page signals.Read post