Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Major NBA sponsor MillerCoors cuts off payments during lockout

NBA Labor Basketball

A security guard walks by a folded up NBA basket stored in the lower level of the TD Garden in Boston, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. NBA Commissioner David Stern said he will cancel the first two weeks of the regular basketball season if there is no agreement on a new deal by Monday, Oct. 10, costing both sides money and driving away some basketball fans who might never come back. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


Tuesday — November 15 — would have been the first day that NBA players had gotten paychecks if there were an NBA season. It’s not a huge shock we got this far. Some owners wanted the players to feel the pain of missed money, thinking the players would cave when it happened. (The players response on Monday was to push back the hardest way they knew how.)

But the owners are going to feel a financial pinch, too.

Not only is there lost revenue from gate receipts, now some sponsors are pulling back, too. That includes MillerCoors, a major sponsor for the league, according to the Journal Sentinel (via SLAM).

MillerCoors, which spends heavily on sports advertising and has sponsorship deals with many NBA teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks, disclosed Monday that it had been withholding payments to its NBA partners.

Peter Marino, a MillerCoors spokesman, said the payments will be made in full upon resolution of the bitter dispute….

In addition to MillerCoors, BMO Harris Bank has a sponsorship arrangement with the Bucks. A spokesman said the bank had not suspended payments to the Bucks.

You can bet it’s not just the Bucks — a lot of owners are feeling the pinch. And when MillerCoors and others said they will pay in full, what they are really saying is “paying our prorated share.”

The thing is, those teams and owners can hold out without the cash flow a lot longer than the players. They are feeling some pain, but a lot less of it than the players the longer this drags on.