Steve Ballmer, Doc Rivers to hit streets of L.A. to promote rebranding effort

ByArash Markazi ESPN logo
Thursday, June 18, 2015

LOS ANGELES -- The Clippers unveiled a new logo and uniforms Wednesday night before they were to launch an aggressive citywide campaign Thursday to publicize the rebranding.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, coach Doc Rivers, and several current and former Clippers players will be at more than 32 locations throughout Los Angeles and Southern California on Thursday, handing out shirts with the team's new logo.

Ballmer is scheduled to hand out shirts and cupcakes at Sprinkles in downtown L.A. with former player Cuttino Mobley.Rivers is slated to hand out shirts and hot dogs with longtime announcer Ralph Lawler at Pink's in Hollywood.

T-shirts draped over seats greeted travelers at Los Angeles International Airport and on some outgoing planes Thursday morning. Students arriving for their last day at an area middle school found the same.

"This is an exciting time to be a Clippers fan," Ballmer said in a statement. "We have one of the top teams in the NBA, and now we have introduced a new look that is bold, edgy, powerful and truly representative of us turning the page and entering a brand new age."

In addition to red, white and blue, which have been the team's primary colors, the Clippers will introduce black as a new color, including adding a black alternate uniform.

The Clippers' home uniforms will be white, featuring the new Clippers word mark across the front. The team will wear red road uniforms in 2015-16 that will feature the LAC monogram. The alternate black uniforms will be introduced at a later date.

Ballmer has been looking at ways to rebrand the team since purchasing the franchise for a record $2 billion last August after former owner Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA following racist comments he made in a recorded conversation.

Ballmer has been reviewing possible changes and rebranding opportunities since November, when he hired Gillian Zucker as president of business operations.

"Let's face facts, you look at the history of the Clippers, it's not a happy history," Ballmer said Wednesday night on "Conan" while promoting the rebrand. "So I bought the team about a year ago in an unusual circumstance at the time, and we said something's happening here. This may have been a nutty thing but people know who the Clippers are but people want a new Clippers. They want a happy ending to this story after this downtrodden thing with this kind of funny ruler. Let's switch it around. I bought the team so late we couldn't do much but now we're introducing the new Clippers -- the new Clippers logo."

While the Clippers are changing the logo and uniforms, there are no plans to change the team name. Ballmer was asked about possibly changing the name last season, and he said that was not something he was considering.

"The word Clippers means something now; it didn't mean much probably a year and half ago but it means something today," Ballmer said. "If I was to give you my visceral view, my track record is on display. Here we are, 30 years later, and Windows is still called Windows. It hasn't changed its name."

The launch of the new logo and the inclusion of former players in the process is the first big step the Clippers have made toward building an alumni network, which was nonexistent under Sterling.

Rivers has personally reached out to former players, coaches and front-office members who previously wanted nothing to do with the team after leaving the franchise.

"We don't have a big alumni yet but we're building it," Rivers said last season. "We've had so many guys. I [reached out to] every single player my first year here and invited everyone to come whenever they wanted. We've got to build something here. When I took this job, that was one of the goals, and a main goal. We don't have any history.

"We have to build our history. We have to bring ex-people back, not just players, but coaches and front-office guys and honor them. We have to do it. I think it's important."

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