Clippers Close Nearly $1 Billion in Partnerships in 10 Days

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The Los Angeles Clippers have signed a long-term partnership with Aspiration, making the financial services company, which focuses on green and sustainable initiatives, the first “founding partner” of the team’s forthcoming arena.

Though financial specifics weren’t released, it’s worth nearly $400 million over the next 23 years, according to someone familiar with the deal, who was granted anonymity because the specifics are private.

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The news comes 10 days after the Clippers broke ground on their new home venue and announced a 23-year naming rights deal with Intuit, worth between $500 million and $600 million. Together, the Intuit and Aspiration partnerships are worth nearly $1 billion, more than half the planned $1.8 billion cost of the Intuit Dome.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, the richest owner in the NBA, prioritized sustainable materials and designs in the planning of the Intuit Dome. That includes the concrete being used, limited water usage, a green roof, waste-reduction programs and annual greenhouse monitoring. The Intuit Dome will be naturally ventilated and carbon-free from the day it opens, according to the team.

“There is a responsibility associated with building the best arena in the world,” Ballmer said in a statement. This Aspiration deal “supports the stake we are planting in the ground to make Intuit Dome the most sustainable arena in the world.”

Aspiration is in the process of going public via merger with InterPrivate III Financial Partners Inc. (NYSE: IPVF). The SPAC deal values the company at $2.3 billion.

As part of the Clippers deal, Aspiration will receive advertising in the arena and on some of the team’s digital media platforms. It will also become the presenting sponsor of the team’s Clipper Nation MVP Program, a series of benefits for season ticket holders, and participate in the team’s Mentorship Assist Zone, which provides education and career development for underserved youth in Southern California.

The two companies will also introduce a program for fans who want to offset their own carbon impact whenever they go to games or concerts at the Intuit Dome.

“Today, the Clippers are raising the bar for every major sports franchise in the world,” Aspiration co-founder Joe Sanberg said in a statement. “By committing to a sustainable future, this team is proving that its massive cultural influence can extend to harnessing meaningful and ongoing action against the climate crisis by embedding Aspiration’s sustainability services throughout the fan experience. As a Clippers fan, I am proud to be partnering with them to define a new era of climate action in major league sports—and I hope that the rest of the NBA follows their example.”

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