Obama Hoops-Themed Fundraisers to Net Millions
The campaign money trail for President Obama will tonight cut through a basketball court in Manhattan.
A trio of hoops-themed fundraisers, hosted by Michael Jordan and other current and former NBA stars, is expected to net at least $3 million for Obama and the Democrats, according to figures provided by his campaign.
The "Obama Classic" includes a $250 per-person autograph signing event, a $5,000 skills camp and shoot-around, and a $20,000 per-plate dinner co-hosted by Jordan and 120 guests. The events are slated to take place in various venues at Lincoln Center.
Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving, Alonzo Mourning, among other players, are expected to attend, the campaign said in an email to supporters last month.
Obama is expected to join the stars on the court for part of the event, although campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki was coy when asked for details.
"The president does love basketball, but I don't have anything to report yet," she told reporters Tuesday.
"I'll just say I feel pretty good about … how the president is going to play tomorrow [Wednesday]," she said. "He is playing with some NBA heroes. So I don't want to overbuild it."
While Obama largely holds the support of NBA players, including Vince Carter, who hosted the president at his Florida home in February, Mitt Romney has majority support of team owners, according to the basketball blog HoopsHype.
The site also found that Romney holds an overall edge in fundraising within the pro-basketball community, collecting $71,000 from 16 donors compared with $67,950 from 23 donors for Obama. The data was compiled from the Center for Responsive Politics and Federal Election Commission.
With the evening events, Obama will eclipse 204 re-election fundraisers since launching his campaign in April 2011, a record-smashing amount of time spent fundraising by an incumbent.