Tag: Sleep Train

Maloofs Eating Carls Jr Barry Bonds

Sponsors fleeing Maloofs amidst uncertainty over Kings’ future


How much would you pay for the right to advertise with a basketball team that refuses to guarantee where it will be a year from now?

If you’re mattress maker Sleep Train and hamburger purveyor Carl’s Jr., the answer is nothing.

Those are the reports coming out of Sacramento from the well-connected Carmichael Dave, who once hosted his own radio show for the Kings’ flagship radio station 1140 The Fan. Dave was mysteriously let go after becoming critical of the Maloof family, after George Maloof torched a viable arena deal in Sacramento last April. Dave has since started his own radio show.

Sleep Train was in talks with the Kings for naming rights of the arena formerly (and still to many) known as Arco Arena.

Carl’s Jr., perhaps the most prominent sponsor for the team, was at the center of controversy when the Maloofs released an advertisement for their $6,000 burger combo meal – flaunting their $1 billion net worth while asking the city of Sacramento to pick up much of the tab on an arena in 2006.

Sutter Health, a large Health Maintenance Organization in the Sacramento area, is also out.

Sources have told ProBasketballTalk that about half of the team’s sponsors have decided not to renew their packages, and Dave reports that several of the team’s larger sponsors are “on the rocks,” including Thunder Valley Casino and VSP Vision Care.

Dave also reports that beverage sponsors are concerned that the Maloofs’ new vodka drink might get preferential treatment at the arena.

Everything in this unfortunate saga centers on the Maloofs, who either have to cut a deal with Sacramento similar to the one that the NBA negotiated on their behalf last fall, or try their luck moving the franchise. Should they sell, there will be no shortage of suitors in Sacramento and around the nation.

Surely, the other 29 NBA owners have to be tired of cutting these guys a revenue sharing check.

Sacramento Arena could be renamed the “Sleep Train”

Arco Arena

Because the Kings and their fans have not suffered enough indignities in recent years….

Next year we could hear “Live from the Sleep Train Arena, we bring you Sacramento Kings basketball.”

The Kings currently play in the Power Balance Arena (formerly Arco Arena), an outdated building that is at the heart of the Maloof family’s efforts to move the team (they just don’t have enough support from the other owners yet).

Power Balance — the makers of those little wrist bands that purport to help your balance but have led to numerous fraud lawsuits — came on last season as the arena sponsor. But they have filed bankruptcy (they had some huge settlements to pay out) and has pulled out of its arena naming deal.

So the Maloof family is looking for a new arena sponsor, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Sleep Train Mattress Centers said Tuesday it’s negotiating with the Sacramento Kings for naming rights to the team’s arena. The Rocklin-based retailer is one of several companies talking to the Kings about naming rights.

Kings co-owner Joe Maloof confirmed the team is in negotiations for a replacement for Power Balance. He said the Kings’ marketing staff is handling the talks and he had no information about which companies are in the running. The team declined to comment further.

It could be good PR for a Sacramento-area company to jump in and say, “we’re here to help the King stay in town” even though they really have no control over the situation. Sleep Train (with 250 mattress and bed stores on the West Coast) could be that company.

Meanwhile, we all keep waiting for the Maloofs — who have worked to kill pretty much every new arena plan in the city — to announce how they have to move the team to… Anaheim or wherever. For financial reasons.

Until then, everybody on board the Sleep Train.