Bloomberg News

NBA Commissioner Silver Charity Lunch Auctioned for $28,000

May 22, 2014

A bidder paid $28,000 to have lunch with National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver, exceeding the online charity auction’s estimate by $3,000.

The winner and final bid weren’t immediately identified by the website Charitybuzz, which conducted the auction, said spokeswoman Meryl Schrank. The high bid on the website was $28,000 when the auction closed.

“We better serve lobster,” Silver said in an e-mail message.

The auction was conducted on behalf of the Ad Council, a private, non-profit organization that says it has a history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the public. Silver replaced David Stern as commissioner on Feb. 1.

Kathy Behrens, the NBA’s executive vice president for social responsibility and player programs, is a director at the Ad Council.

According to Charitybuzz, the winning bidder gets lunch for two with Silver and other senior executives at the NBA’s New York office. Travel and accommodations aren’t included.

The auction went into extended bidding, which means that a bid was placed during the final 10 minutes of its scheduled close time.

The auction was announced on May 1, about a week after Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks went public on the website TMZ.

Silver barred Sterling from the NBA and is pushing owners to force a sale of the team. The league has scheduled a hearing for June 3, when Sterling can present his side.

Seventy-five percent, or 23 of 30 owners, must vote to approve the forced sale.

Other executives who participated in the auction include AOL Inc. (AOL:US) Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong and BBDO Worldwide Inc. CEO Andrew Robertson.

Last year, a charity lunch with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett sold for about $1 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Soshnick in New York at ssoshnick@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net Dex McLuskey


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