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Oprah, Larry Ellison and Team Cole among rumored Clippers owners

Los Angeles ClippersOn our sister site Arena Digest we ran down the potential new owners of the Los Angeles Clippers should Donald Sterling sell the NBA franchise, but we omitted one suitor: Team Cole.

Here’s the Arena Digest article. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Clippers owner Sterling from the NBA for life, with other NBA owners debating whether to force him to sell the team. As we noted, there are some big names in the mix should a sale happen, including Oprah Winfrey, Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Partners (owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers), Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and music mogul David Geffen.

We failed to note a bid from Team Cole and Associates, owners and managers of three summer-collegiate Coastal Plain League teams: the Gastonia Grizzlies, Forest City Owls and Martinsville Mustangs. Terms of the offer were not disclosed; however Team Cole feels that they are the premier candidate to take over the team.

“This was a no brainer for our franchise,” said President Jesse Cole. “The Clippers would be a great addition to our portfolio. The comparisons between the Los Angeles market and the Martinsville market are obvious, and begin with a love and passion for sports.”

Cole has reached out to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to partner on the deal, but has not yet heard back.

Team Cole and Associates took over operations of the Martinsville Mustangs in the fall of 2012. In the first year of Management, Team Cole & Associates doubled overall sales including season tickets, sponsorship and game day revenue. The Mustangs broke their franchise attendance record in the first year under Team Cole, averaging more than 1,600 fans per game, while finishing 16th in the country in attendance in college summer baseball.


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