Sport shoes maker Skechers USA Inc (SKX.N) said on Friday it will explore buying a stake in the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, whose owner is at the center of a storm over alleged racist remarks.
Los Angeles-based Skechers said it was consulting with its advisers about leading an investment group to acquire an interest in the team.
National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver has banned team owner Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million over the alleged comments, fanning speculation that the team will be sold.
Earlier this week, Silver called on the 29 other club owners who make up the NBA's governing board to exercise their authority to force Sterling to sell the team.
Celebrities including billionaire media executive David Geffen and talk show host Oprah Winfrey have also expressed interest in investing in the team, which is playing the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Others possible suitors include former NBA Los Angeles Lakers star Earvin "Magic" Johnson and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Skechers was recently in the news when Meb Kflezighi, a brand ambassador for the company's sport shoes, won the 2014 Boston Marathon wearing Skechers GOmeb Speed 3 shoes.
Skechers' sales have been on a tear, helped by demand for its sports shoes.
Skechers shares were down 3 percent at $40.63 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.
(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan and Devika Krishna Kumar in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)