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LA Clippers Declare 'We Are One'
By: Jennifer Graber
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Whether or not you are a sports fan, it is likely that you have heard the name Donald Sterling within the past few days. Well, unless you have been taking up residence beneath a news- and social media–free rock. Sterling, the current owner of the LA Clippers, found himself in hot water over audio recordings that were released to the public. The recordings featured the basketball team owner speaking his opinion. And, let’s just say, it was a very strong opinion. Since the release of the recordings, Sterling and the LA Clippers have found themselves right in the midst of a firestorm.  Questions and accusations have been rampantly flying about. Fans, celebrities, and professionals have called out the NBA, beseeching them, and other fans, to make the right decision. In fact, many had vocalized a desire to boycott the NBA playoffs if Sterling was not “appropriately” dealt with.
 
It seems as if the NBA has made their decision. Just yesterday the organization made the call to ban Sterling from the NBA — for life. This only applies to Sterling and not any of his family members. And he is still the owner of the LA Clippers for now, though many believe a sale is imminent. Within hours, the LA Clippers had taken to social and digital media to create a unified front in the wake of the decision. The basketball team posted a simple statement — one that proclaims the team’s solidarity. The team’s website, Facebook, and Twitter all featured the statement “We Are One.” The Clippers’ website was also devoid of any clickable material, and the “We Are One” statement was the only visible content.
 
And though the controversy is still riddled with unanswered questions and conspiracies, one thing is for certain — the LA Clippers made an interesting move with its declaration. The timing aligns with the NBA’s decision, indicating the team’s agreement. The LA Clippers most likely selected online and social media to declare its agreement because of the speed with which information travels. Just like in a small town, if you want something to be known, you tell the town gossip. In this case, the town gossip is the Internet.
 
It is likely that we all can agree on the content; after all, team unity is crucial. So is taking a stand. But what are your thoughts on timing? Was it appropriate? Or should the Clippers have changed up their social media sooner? Later? Why not take to social media and their website sooner? Thus, saying “We Are One” as a team, regardless of the struggles, because we will face them and the outcome together. Is the online statement, then, meant purely to show the team’s agreement with the NBA and nothing else?
 
Regardless of the answers to these digital questions and the strategies used, it is likely the Clippers will be facing this challenge for quite some time.


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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