LA Clippers' New Campaign: We're Not Owned By A Racist Anymore!

Ads Tout New Era for Team After Donald Sterling Scandal Last Year

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The Clippers are under new ownership, and they want everyone to know it.

Last night, the team launched a 60-second spot and campaign dubbed "Be relentless." The spot is an anthemic call-to-action, with a voice over saying, "You think you know who we are; you're wrong. ... We have walked through fire and come out on the other side."

RPA, which won the account last month following a review, handled the campaign.

Los Angeles Clippers' print ad
Los Angeles Clippers' print ad

Branding campaigns for a basketball team are somewhat unusual. It's clear the Clippers and the team's new owner, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, are trying to distance themselves from Donald Sterling. Last spring, Mr. Sterling, the team's former owner, was recorded spouting racial epithets, leading to a massive scandal that saw advertisers pull ads and sponsorships from the team.

"We are absolutely committed to developing the Clippers into not only one of the top teams on the court, but also one of the best organizations in professional sports," Mr. Ballmer, who officially became the owner in August, said in a statement. "We are relentless in pursuit of our goals, and believe this campaign captures the essence of what it means to be a Clipper."

The ad aired during the National Basketball Association's opening night double-header games, though the Clippers didn't play. The spot will also air during the Clippers' home opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night. The Clippers also placed full-page print ads in the LA Times and insertions in ESPN Magazine, along with billboards in the Los Angeles airport and along major freeways.

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