A $3 million offer is on the table for naming rights to the West Valley Event Center.
The city hoped for $7 million to $9 million.But a West Valley firm wants the city to hold out for $10 million - and is betting its marketing commission it can negotiate that kind of deal.
British-owned Theme Media has offered to lend West Valley City its services and forgo a $500,000 commission if it doesn't bring in sponsorship worth at least $8.2 million in naming rights for the 10,400-seat arena.
At stake for Theme Media is its commission if it brings less than that. Theme Media's real incentive is a 10-percent bonus on any amount it brings the city over $7.7 million.
Theme Media has also agreed to forgo exclusive marketing rights in a contract the City Council will consider Thursday.
Theme Media President Tudor John said Tuesday that he'd initially discussed the possibilities for naming rights with City Manager John Patterson two months ago. A May 7 proposal letter from John sets forth the 6-month-old company's expertise at contacting "major corporations around the world on a daily basis." Theme Media has affiliate offices in London and Johannesburg.
The company also assures the city that it can deliver an arena sponsor who will contract for a 10-year period, instead of the five-year maximum period an earlier study by the Joyce Julius sports marketing firm in Ann Arbor, Mich., offered.
"In terms of real time, this is natural coverage. As events get bigger (at the arena) and go more national, a corporation gets more attention," John said. "By virtue of it being new and attracting lots of events, there's more mileage for $10 million over 10 years than there is in constant advertising."
John noted that multinational corporations spend "hundreds of millions" each year for commercial airtime and print advertising.
"What a corporation will naturally get for $10 million is a breeze, from that point of view. In naming rights, there's more than value for the money," John said.
Patterson told the Deseret News earlier an almost guaranteed $5 million in naming rights on the 2002 Winter Olympic site "is good, but we hope to get $7.8 million." Ideally, West Valley City would get 40 percent of the $53.3 million total costs for the event center up front.
Councilman Russ Brooks is a little more wary, however.
"(The $10 million) would be great if it were to come about. As a city, realistically, we are not saying that's our goal. Our thoughts have been less, more in the ballpark of $7-8 milion," Brooks said. "That's where we ought to be to meet our responsibilities and indebtedness."
Theme Media, a privately held company, sells advertising and sponsorship for major sporting and business events around the world. Among its client base, it boasts marketing for London's Barbican Arena, home of the Royal Shakespeare Company; the Russian Goodwill Games; the 1995 Pan American Games in Argentina; and the 1994 World Corporate Games. John said the small company of 24 employees secures sponsorships of $5,000 to $4 million weekly.