HIGH-TOUCH EXPERIENCES: The Lexus Courtside Lounge at the new Intuit Dome will offer premium food and beverages to guests who purchased floor seats. The tunnel club is tied to a pathway Clippers players will use to take the floor. (Courtesy team)


Eight months away from opening its doors, the Los Angeles Clippers announced Lexus as a founding partner and sponsor of the courtside lounge at the new Intuit Dome, the NBA team’s $2 billion arena.

The Lexus Courtside Lounge will provide premium hospitality service to guests with floor seats at all Intuit Dome events, including concerts. Details of the partnership between the Clippers and Lexus weren’t disclosed, but the deal is said to be a long-term and substantial commitment.

Scott Sonnenberg, the Clippers’ chief commercial officer, said the area will have a couple of bars with food and beverage offerings and the move builds on the nine-year relationship between the organization and the luxury car brand, which began at Crypto.com Arena.

The space will be a high-touch experience for fans with access to the lounge as they will be close to Clippers players. The space will feature a pathway through the center that the hometown athletes use to take the floor.

“They are the entitlement partner of our Lexus Club at Crypto.Com Arena, which is a space underneath the stands that we put together on gamedays,” Sonnenberg said. “Once we get into the Intuit Dome, they’re going to have a permanent space. It’s going to be a special, unique place. We wanted a partner that could really help us tell the story, and in that, you’ve got to think premium. With Lexus being a premium brand and a longtime partner of ours, we thought they would be a perfect partner for this space.”

The lounge will be designed by Rita Konig, a renowned London-based interior designer who will help convey the story the Clippers want to tell in their new Inglewood, California home, which is reportedly costing owner Steve Ballmer approximately $2 billion.

TELLING A STORY: Scott Sonnenberg, L.A. Clippers and Intuit Dome Chief Commercial Officer, said partnerships with brands like Lexus help tell the story of the arena and create memorable experiences for fans. (Courtesy team)

“I know from some of the meetings we’ve held internally that we want it to portray premium,” Sonnenberg said. “We don’t want it to look like we slap some logos up inside of a club that doesn’t actually mesh well together. We want it to all be integrated really nicely. We thought Rita would be the right person to integrate Lexus seamlessly into the overall style, look and feel of the Lexus Courtside Lounge.”

The Lexus Courtside Lounge is one of several branded experiences Intuit Dome is building as the arena nears its grand opening. One of them is “The Wall,” a nearly 5,000-seat section on one end of the court that is exclusive to rabid Clippers fans.

Lexus will have a prominent presence throughout the arena, including entitlement to the South VIP entrance and a vehicle display in the main lobby. The luxury car brand joins Intuit, AT&T, Pechanga and Ticketmaster as founding partners of the new arena, and Sonnenberg said there is a lot of interest from other companies in partnering with the Clippers.

“We’ve definitely seen a lot of interest, not only from our current partners but we’ve also been able to bring a lot of new partners into the space as well,” Sonnenberg said. “Steve’s vision for the Intuit Dome is wide and ever-expanding and always pushing the limit, but it requires great partnerships to help bring his vision to life.”

“I’ve been doing partnerships for 20 years, and a great partnership is about being able to tell a story that seamlessly ties in the brands together — Lexus and premium, for example, or systems integrator like Globant in building out our app and telling the [technological] story behind what we’re building at Intuit Dome.”

Intuit Dome is situated near the Kia Forum, also owned by Ballmer, and SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers.

Super Bowl halftime performer Usher is the first artist to announce shows at Intuit Dome, with four taking place in September. The arena is to open in August, although opening festivities have not been announced.

“It feels like yesterday we were breaking ground,” Sonnenberg said. “When [our fans] come to Intuit Dome, they’re going to experience NBA basketball like they’ve never experienced it before.”