MillerCoors Withholding Payment From NBA Teams Until CBA Gets "Ironed Out"
Despite the NBA's tentative CBA deal, MillerCoors spokesperson Pete Marino indicated that the company "is still withholding payments from the 11 NBA teams it sponsors," including the Mavericks and Heat, according to Michael McCarthy of USA TODAY. Marino said, "We are in discussions with all of our partners on our marketing plans. We'll begin making payments -- as soon as a lot of details get ironed out." The tentative agreement calls for a 66-game regular season, which is "16 fewer games than the normal 82 games and 8 fewer home games." McCarthy wondered, "Is MillerCoors telling NBA clubs it wants a discount from clubs that will end up playing 20% fewer games this season?" Marino said, "Perhaps. Not necessarily. This is all fresh information. We're looking to get to the table and talk to these teams. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll start putting pen to paper and get our plans ironed out." McCarthy noted MillerCoors is "only exclusive with the Bucks," and "shares beers sponsorships on the 10 other clubs." It is likely "withholding anywhere from a couple of hundred thousand dollars -- to a few million dollars -- from its 11 partners" (USATODAY.com, 11/30).