A closer look at the termination of the Superlative naming rights contract

Over the past few days, I have found the more information that I have uncovered, the more questions I have.

First I advise you to watch this informational meeting dated April 20,2012. There is PDF documentation on Superlative’s presentation and the city’s goals for naming rights.

This what we know right now;

Superlative’s contract was terminated early. Superlative did receive $65,000 for the market study they conducted, but they were looking to handle the naming rights. They were aware they were in competition with other firms, but by all accounts it would only make sense that the company that was doing your market study would help you with the naming rights. This did not happen which resulted in terminating their contract with the city early. This was the city’s decision.

Councilor Kermit Staggers has requested a copy of the contract. He is still waiting to receive it.

The city chose Legends Marketing. Not sure how much you know about Legends, but this story about them makes me a bit uneasy;

SANTA CLARA (KCBS) — As more seats go on sale Monday for the new 49ers Santa Clara Stadium, interested buyers are noticing most tickets are double the cost of a similar seat at Candlestick Park.

Aside from the cost of the 50,000 reserved seats that go on sale next week, the tickets require a one-time license fee between $2,000 and $12,000 for upper deck, end zone and top of the lower bowl seats.

Al Guido vice president of sales and services at Legends Sales & Marketing, the firm selling the packages for the stadium authority, said the cheapest seats will be $85 per game compared to Candlestick’s $39.

I don’t know about you, but most people in Sioux Falls cannot afford higher ticket prices. If this is the ultimate goal in building a new facility, we might just get ourselves a $180 million dollar echo chamber.

What is puzzling is that Legends was picked out of the four competitors, with Superlative (the market consultant) coming in 4th place.

Will the public be allowed to see the grading sheets? How did they come to this decision?

I do know that the city was advised to ask for at least $600,000 for 20 years on a naming rights deal. But that was a starting point. And it is no secret that Sanford and First Premier have been rumored to be interested sponsors (interior and exterior).

So how do you get that kind of money if you only have two interested parties?

Anybody in the Naming rights business will tell you that competition is what will drive up the naming rights price. Just look at Superlative’s track record on this;

Has raised over $500 million in Naming Rights

• 95%success rate in meeting and exceeding Naming Rights goals for arenas

• 100% on ballparks and stadiums

How can any naming rights company compete with that? Was Legends chosen over Superlative because they can help bring in competing bids? Or were they brought in to bring the appearance of competition?

I don’t think anyone will be shocked if Sanford and First Premier seal the deal, but it will be disappointing if this deal was struck without competition.

If this happens, will the public be allowed to see the list of competitors and their offers? Or like the naming of the Rosa Parks school, will that information be shredded?

In Myles Gallagher’s June 20, 2011 presentation to the city council, he said this;

“We represent the taxpayer – that’s our credo.”

Maybe this is why they were not chosen?


#1 anominous on 06.17.12 at 12:33 pm

Tickets need to cost more so it looks like you are giving something valuable when they are used by fatcats to trade for favors.

#2 l3wis on 06.17.12 at 4:50 pm

Yeah, you have to pay more for this pretty new building.

#3 Joan on 06.17.12 at 6:58 pm

I always figured tickets for anything in this fantastic building would be considerably higher than at at the arena. Just like I have always figured the place will end up not being a money maker and needing considerable help from the city.

#4 l3wis on 06.18.12 at 12:48 am

Don’t think there is a link between Legends and what you are talking about. They would prefer taxpayers to subsidize this thing.

While I commend Huether for getting the ball rolling on the EC, his hap hazard, shove it thru, suprime cc approach is going to burn us in the end.

I often find the irony in all the people who complain the process wasn’t moving fast enough, but in the 13 years it was going on, SF was growing and prosperous, w/o a new EC. How could that be? I think we rushed this, and we will feel the burn here real soon.

#5 Naming rights and Reindeer Games — South DaCola on 07.16.12 at 12:13 am

[…] I reported on June 16, there was a little switcheroo on the naming rights contract. The city decided to terminate their […]

#6 The interesting Events Center Naming Rights timeline — South DaCola on 03.10.14 at 6:01 pm

[…] Advancing? It’s almost like Smith had to hire a naming rights contractor so it didn’t look like it was already a done deal with Sanford. Gee, I wonder why they fired this company? […]