Today only seems like a slow one in the agency world. One of the key drivers behind the day’s top story–big-name sponsors abandoning the L.A. Clippers in the wake of owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant–is Translation CEO Steve Stoute.
CarMax was the first company to opt out, but this morning Stoute told ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd that his client State Farm would soon follow.
For audio, click the link above; we have the key quote after the jump.
Stoute told Cowherd:
“This is a black eye to sports…It’s the businesses that sponsor this team that have to be appalled with that comment and that racist point of view and they have to stop supporting. And it’s the fans that have to say, ‘I am not going to buy tickets or things and support a team that has racist comments.’ if they don’t want African Americans at the game, they don’t want Latinos at the game, they don’t want women at the game…If that’s the feeling, then we all have to stand up and do that. I think the combination of sponsors, owners and the fans boycotting will force the sale of that team.”
His suggestion seems to be working: the list of current and former sponsors reconsidering their relationship with the Clippers now also includes Kia, Red Bull, Amtrak, and Virgin America.
Here’s what you really need to know, though: while State Farm “will be taking a pause in [its] relationship with the Clippers organization”, it will not end the ongoing Translation campaign starring Clippers point-guard Chris Paul.