When do dollars 6 million in naming rights cost dollars 9.8 million? When you name a Bible-belt music venue after vodka.
When do dollars 6 million in naming rights cost dollars 9.8
million? When you name a Bible-belt music venue after vodka.
United Distillers & Vintners recently negotiated with House of Blues and
SFX Entertainment to change the name of the Coca-Cola Starplex
Amphitheatre in Dallas to the Smirnoff Music Center. The problem: the
facility sits on municipal land in Fair Park, and the downtrodden area
has been trying to shed its liquor-infested image.
When word broke in The Dallas Morning News, it angered city council
members and left parents concerned about sending their teens to mosh in
a place named after a Russian spirit. The solution: UDV pledged dollars
3.8 million to civic and alcohol-responsibility activities - a donation,
UDV communications director Gary Galanis claims, the company always
intended to make.
However, the DMN printed the story before the company decided who would
receive the money. Also, UDV didn’t publicly reveal the charitable
tie-in until nearly two months later.
And now, always-extreme county commissioner John Wiley Price has called
UDV’s donations ’blood money.’ Bloody Mary, anyone?