UPDATE: Today Yokohama Tire announced that in light of the NBA’s punishment of Donald Sterling, they have reached an agreement with the NBA Clippers to reinstate their sponsorship. They have also decided that halve the NBA Playoff sponsorship money that would have gone to the team is now going to various NBA -sponsored charities which are dedicated to ending discrimination and promoting tolerance. See the new press release below as well as the original story.
FULLERTON, CA (April 30, 2014) – Looking to continue its support of the Los Angeles Clippers team and fans Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC) and the Clippers have a reached an agreement where YTC will immediately reinstate its sponsorship of the team, with half of the 2014 NBA playoff sponsorship funds being earmarked to a charity instead of the organization.
“Yokohama applauds NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s leadership and actions by banning Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life from any association with the team or NBA,” said Andrew Briggs, YTC director, marketing and product planning. “With the Clippers’ agreement, we have found a way to continue moving forward and give back to the community and our fellow Clipper fans.”
Briggs said the money will be donated to NBA-sponsored charitable organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts.
ORIGINAL STORY: By now you have probably head about the alleged racist comments made by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. In case you haven’t here is a short run down: basically there is a phone recording that was made public a few days ago in which a person who many believe to be Donald Sterling made several racist comments and basically told his girlfriend “don’t bring black people to my games”. Believe it or not that isn’t even the worst of what was said. If you really want to listen to it just do a Google search for Donald Sterling and it will come up, trust me!
Anyway, you might be asking how this is relevant to a car blog such as this and Yokohama Tire? Well Yokohama Tire is a sponsor of the LA Clippers and as you might imagine they do not take too kindly to this whole situation. As such they have put out an official press release stating that they are suspending their sponsorship of the Clippers organization. You can read the release below. The interesting part is the language they use. Instead of pulling their sponsorship completely they say “suspend.” Also they mention that they are weighing their options. I believe this language stems from the current belief that the NBA may force Donald Sterling to sell the team to someone else; like someone…not racist perhaps. If that actually happens then Yokohama would likely re-activate their sponsorship of the team. Only time will tell, but the NBA is due hold a press conference later today (4-29-14) on the matter so based on what they say we might have a better idea if Yokohama will return to the Clippers or not.
FULLERTON, CA (April 28, 2014):
“Yokohama Tire Corporation does not tolerate discrimination in any fashion. The alleged remarks by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are completely unacceptable and we find it necessary to immediately suspend our sponsorship of the organization as a result. We will continue to assess the situation and weigh our options. Meanwhile, we wish to express our continued support to the Clippers players and fans.”
Director of Marketing and Product Planning
Yokohama Tire Corporation
Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing an extensive sales network throughout the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s broad product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.
Connect with Yokohama Tire Corporation:
Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the “Tire Care & Safety” section at www.yokohamatire.com.
[Source: Yokohama Tire]