When you’re a former CEO of Microsoft, and you buy a sports team – like the Los Angeles Clippers, you can do anything you’d like.
That includes banning all Apple devices from team use.
Steve Ballmer was the CEO of Microsoft, in his tenure with the company – which began in 1980 and even today he retains a 3.99% share in the company. That share is worth $15 billion is actually larger than the share held by Bill Gates, who founded the tech-giant.
It might sound rash, but the ban will go into effect in 2016, and all Apple devices currently in use by the team will be replaced with Surface tablets. Surface tablets, obviously, the flagship tablet sold by Microsoft.
It’s hard to say right now whether the former Microsoft CEO will require players and personnel give up their personal Apple devices, but with this move, it’s hard to rule anything out. The media had fun with the Apple-lovers on the current Clippers roster. Blake Griffin, and JJ Redick were a part of the playful jabs.
It should be noted though that this isn’t the most extreme case of profiling electronic devices. In fact, Microsoft has a multi-year deal in tact with the NFL currently, which provided all teams with Surface tablets, at the cost of roughly $400 million.
Even worse is that announcers continue to call these surface devices iPads, even after the deal was made official and public – and has been regularly advertised and marketed.
It may not matter though because Samsung currently has a deal with the NBA, which allows them to be the leagues official tech supplier. That means that any Microsoft Surfaces that team members are using, like coaching staff, may have a hard time reaching the camera or even just being seen.
That deal with Samsung is worth $100 million, and it would seem as though the league would whole-heartedly enforce any restrictions that Samsung desired, as far as TV appearances would be concerned.
Perhaps though it’s just personal choice. After all, a guy with the background of Steve Ballmer, who just spent $2 billion to acquire the team in the first place, certainly would have the right to make demands, at least within the organization that he has adopted as his own.
For now, the team can spend the next year enjoying their Apple devices, while Ballmer waits to take them away from the staffers at a later date.