Well, that didn't take very long.
The Los Angeles Clippers had been losing sponsorships left and right ever since Donald Sterling's argument with his girlfriend hit the web, and Adidas was one of the companies that ended its support of the organization. In the wake of the Sterling audio, that wasn't in any way surprising.
Similarly unsurprising is the decision to reinstate the sponsorship deal now that NBA commissioner Adam Silver has made his stance on racism quite clear:
It will not be tolerated.
From the time Silver took the podium and announced that the NBA was fining Sterling $2.5 million, banning him for life and pushing the rest of the owners to force his removal from that ultra-exclusive fraternity (details here), it took only slightly more than an hour for news to break on Adidas' willingness to join forces with LAC once more.
The Wall Street Journal's Sara Germano had the scoop first:
Breaking: Adidas has reinstated its LA Clippers sponsorship and will replace signage at Staples Center tonight w/team logo— Sara Germano (@germanotes) April 29, 2014
Adidas: as LT NBA partner, "we are proud that the Commissioner is taking serious action to ensure prejudice is not tolerated in the game."— Sara Germano (@germanotes) April 29, 2014
Once more, this was one of many sponsorships that Sterling's comments scared off.
Red Bull had suspended team-related activities but was maintaining a relationship with Blake Griffin, per ESPN's Arash Markazi. CNBC's Ryan Ruggiero had reported that Kia and Virgin American were cutting ties with LAC as well. Then there was Adidas, which ESPN's Darren Rovell tweeted had suspended its marketing plans with the Clippers.
Now that the NBA has come down swiftly and strictly, it's likely other companies will follow the trend set by Adidas, supporting the team that doesn't appear as though it'll be under Sterling's control for much longer.
Following Silver's announcement, responses from around the league were full of unequivocal praise. LeBron James, for example, had nothing but positives for the new commissioner:
And how could he?
Silver did everything he could to set an example, and the benefits of his firm decision should be quite widespread. Not only did the man in charge set a precedent that racism will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form by the NBA, but he also helped restore the Clippers organization to the status it enjoyed just days prior.
Somewhat ironically, a company best known for its shoes is responsible for taking the first step after Silver's press conference.