Find out more information about  
MARCUM LLP
Fill out this form and a representative will contact you.
*
*
*
*
*
Captcha Image
 
Contact Us
 
2
may
2014
Silver's Golden Play on Sterling

National Basketball Commissioner Adam Silver may just be the latest inductee to the Jeffrey Weiner Business Hall of Fame. At a minimum, he is my candidate for the first annual How to Do It Right Award. Silver's swift and decisive action banning Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the sport for life and slapping him with a $2.5 million fine – the maximum permitted by the NBA constitution – sets an example for crisis management if I've ever seen one. And Silver's not done yet. His effort to force the sale of the team is another strategic move to preserve the dignity and decorum of professional basketball.

Silver wasted not a minute in using the full force of his office to respond to Sterling's stark and repugnant racist remarks, which were first revealed on TMZ. And it's a good thing, for more than one reason. The incident nearly stopped the NBA playoffs in their tracks, with players across the League threatening a boycott if aggressive, corrective action were not taken. The Warriors were set to walk out of Game 5 in the first-round playoff series in Los Angeles, but fortunately, that didn't become necessary. Silver pushed Sterling out instead.

Not surprisingly, the Sterling incident unleashed a public fury. Team sponsors like Sprint, Red Bull, Virgin America, Kia Motors and State Farm – 14 in all – couldn't distance themselves fast enough. They hightailed it out of there before Sterling knew what had hit him. Adidas has since become the first to return, following Sterling's censorship by the NBA, and I'm guessing the others will eventually come back as well. But they're hanging back for now, and rightfully so.

No brand can afford to associate with anything that maligns its customers or, worse, damages or corrupts the core values of the brand. National brands like the Clippers sponsors spend tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars to build credibility and strong relationships with their customers. As we have seen, a few careless words or one stupid moment can destroy what may have taken years to build.

Which begs the question, what was Sterling thinking? His derogatory and offensive comments fly in the face of common sense. He insulted his own players, his season ticket holders, his fans and his brand partners. Not to mention the person who gave the tape to TMZ. It was a slam dunk for stupidity.

Commissioner Silver didn't tolerate any of it. He acted fast, he acted decisively, he did what was right, and he acted in the best interests of the league, the fans and the businesses whose livelihoods depend on it. It's a leadership play that will win the game every time.

Go Back
Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Jeffrey M. Weiner and do not represent those of Marcum LLP, its partners or its employees.

Meet Jeffrey M. Weiner
View Jeffrey Weiner's Profile View Profile
Download Jeffrey Weiner's Contact Card Download vCard
Connect with Jeffrey Weiner on LinkedIn Connect with Jeffrey Weiner
Follow Jeffrey Weiner on Twitter Follow Jeffrey Weiner
 
Subscription Preferences
Subscribe
Unsubscribe
Recent Posts
Good to Bad
Look, Ma, No Hands!
Happy Fall
Summer Breeze
 
Archives
2016
September 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
2015
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
2014
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
2013
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
   
   

Offices
New York
New Jersey
Connecticut
Florida
Massachusetts
Rhode Island
California
Pennsylvania
Tennessee
Illinois
China
Grand Cayman

Get in Touch
Name
Email
Message

Get Connected
     
Privacy | Legal | Sitemap | Secure Mail