Charlotte, NC (Aug. 12, 2003) – Audit and attest services provider McGladrey & Pullen is taking on its first major sports franchise as tax and audit clients: the NBA Bobcats and the WNBA Sting.

The firm will also keep the books on the operations of a new $265 million arena now under construction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Billionaire Robert Johnson owns both teams. Johnson’s company, RLJ Companies, signed McGladrey to a three-year audit and tax work contract after a search that began last winter and included the Big Four firms.

“It’s a high profile account and very different for us,” said Denise Reis, marketing director in McGladrey & Pullen’s Carolina practice. “I feel the key factor in the win was the fact that we deal exclusively with emerging and mid-sized companies, and that we are local and accessible.”

The firm has nine offices in North Carolina, whereas the competing firms in the deal had no more than two or three, Reis said. McGladrey & Pullen’s local office employs 70 and has “a lengthy history in Charlotte and the Carolinas.”

In addition, Reis said McGladrey & Pullen plans to lease a luxury suite from the Bobcats at the new arena. Annual suite leases start at $95,000. The accounting firm plans to use its suite for community outreach at least half the season. Certain nights may also be auctioned off to benefit local charities.

“We are already getting calls about this from some nonprofit organizations,” Reis admitted. “We are excited about the opportunity to do this as it is a platform for community outreach. Johnson has given a lot to community already so he is obviously happy about this.”

The Bobcats, a new NBA expansion franchise, which will begin play in the 2004-2005 season. 

-- Seth Fineberg

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