Lockout May Force Sacramento Kings to Refund Corporate Sponsors

by October 27, 2011

If the NBA lockout doesn’t come to an end very soon, things could get dicey between the Sacramento Kings and the companies who wrote them checks last season. Per the Bee: “It was a vital part of Sacramento’s crusade to keep the Kings in town – the $10 million in corporate sponsorships pledged for the 2011-12 season. Now the Kings might have to give some of that money back. The NBA player lockout has complicated the Kings’ relationship with their corporate patrons, particularly those that responded to Mayor Kevin Johnson’s frenzied appeal last spring. Thirty-two companies stepped up to lease arena billboards and luxury suites, buy blocks of tickets and otherwise support the team. With two weeks of games already canceled, and much of the rest of the season in jeopardy, the team is talking to sponsors about refunds, ‘make-goods’ and other concessions. So far nobody has asked for their money back, and the discussions ‘have been positive,’ said team spokesman Chris Clark. But some sponsors are getting antsy. As games disappear from the schedule, ‘the sponsorship becomes questionable,’ said Doug Elmets, spokesman for Thunder Valley Casino. ‘We’re now reassessing how we want to move forward. Thunder Valley’s sponsorship, at $1 million, is among the team’s largest.”