The Greatest City Ever Sold: If There's a Piece of Dallas You'd Like to Buy and Name, Speak Up

Categories: City Hall
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Photo illustration by Patrick Michels
Hey, Margaret Hunt Hill, do fries come with that shake? Now where's my consulting fee at?
Let's go back to City Manager Mary Suhm's budget Q&A memo for just a moment, because there was one Q that had me at A:
What is being done to generate revenue by marketing the City?

A Request for Proposal was advertised on May 12 and 19, 2011 seeking proposals from qualified marketing professionals to assist the City in the development and implementation of a marketing income program. The goal of the program is to generate additional income for the City through naming, sponsorship, advertisement, and marketing partnerships with private corporations. Proposals are due on June 8, 2011.
I had a question for Suhm about something else unrelated, but when I had her on the phone this afternoon I asked her about this specifically. And, yes, so happens the city is looking to see if it can get "sponsorships or branding arrangements with different vendors," she tells Unfair Park. And that could mean anything from selling naming rights to city-owned facilities to slapping ads on the sides of city vehicles.

Suhm explains:

Right now, for instance, Dr Pepper is the exclusive soft-drink vendor at Dallas City Hall -- a deal worth around $1 mil a year, according to a 2005 briefing on the subject of marketing income. Which made Suhm wonder: What other opportunities are out there for "naming rights, brand exclusives and ads on trucks"? For starters.

"When the economy is bad people don't have much interest, but there are some opportunities," she says. "In the next year we'll open the big soccer center [the Elm Fork Athletic Complex], and I think it'll have some real opportunities. But do you want to sell it to a brand or see if there's a donor who wants to attach a name to it? We've tried this before, but where is the market right now? Aside from a few things it wasn't the massive revenue generator some people might think it would be."

I asked: What about selling sponsorship patches on City Hall workers' suits, a la Morgan Spurlock and, before that, The Art Guys?

"I wouldn't mind wearing uniforms," Suhm says. "Depends what I'm advertising, but it's one less decision to make every day."
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31 comments
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abuckley1970
abuckley1970

ok...so we spend more money in a bad economy for yet another plan  - this time to improve the image of Dallas.  Hmmm.  Patches on city employees uniforms...reminds me of nascar drivers.  We'd have to start saying things like "this code violation form was made possible in part by our sponsors: TXU, Atmos and Southwest Airlines."    :D  Seriously, a new level of tacky.

how about "bridge over troubled water?"

Brint Crockett
Brint Crockett

Dallas, brought to you by the Trinity River Toll Road.

//How's that for selling a policy initiative?

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

Why not...Welcome to Dallas, Now hand over your wallet! I think it has a nice ring to it:)

Tom-hendricks
Tom-hendricks

I'd turn Main Street, connecting Downtown, Deep Ellum and Fair Park, into a pedestrian walkway free of cars - a Dallas  "river walk". And name it with anything BUT a corporate logo.

Make Main Street a pedestrian walkway from Downtown through Deep Ellum to Fair Park.  Then take it across the river to one of the main roads there .This would be Dallas's "Riverwalk".  This would tie in all these areas - make a reason for people to go and live downtown, put eyes on the street, add some police on bikes or walking, add food carts, etc.

gabbahey
gabbahey

I would think that the plumbing industry should get in on it, as, the Dallas skyline now looks like there are giant pieces of broken PVC pipe sticking up out of the ground.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

I love the McDonald's Arches bridge! Not only would it be a "distinctive signature element" but we could get McDonald's to foot at least part of the bill for the thing. And furthermore painting that arch gold and maybe adding a second one for that "M" effect wouldn't make it look any stupider than it already does!

This is truly a win/win scenario.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

Just think! They could hand out double cheeseburgers with every toll paid.

Harvey
Harvey

How about naming the city Beijing? It might not save us money, but might hold our loans for a while longer. It might even help them right wingers find more ways to cut spending by slashing salaries ten fold.

Guest
Guest

I hope they accept my bid to put my company name on City Hall:

"Be Sure to Bring An Envelope Full of Cash if You Want to Get Anything Done Here, LLC"

Ed D.
Ed D.

I bet Coke would pay millions to have City Hall renamed the "Pepsi Center".

cityrunamuck
cityrunamuck

Like a bad penny, this tired idea keeps returning year after year based upon the 2005 Dr. Pepper "deal".  Who on God's green earth would attach their name to venues, facilities, services that the City has cut and cut since 2005........So, a company will pay have their name attached to a building that is falling a part?  Or Customer service that sucks....

If this old program is our savior from financial disaster, then we are really scraping the bottom of the barrel......and the last person departing Dallas, please turn off the lights.  Put a fork in us, we are done........

I would have expected more from our City Manager than floating this re-run........

Howard
Howard

Considering all the angst and tiresome politics involved when something is named after a person, I wouldn't mind it if naming rights went to the highest corporate bidders, so long as the funds go right into maintaining roads, lights, sanitation. Naming rights to school buildings could also be treated similarly to fund public schools. American society is already headed to idiocracy anyway.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

Ever since Allan Saxe got the road to the Arlington landfill named after him I've wanted to have a dump named after me. How much do I need to pony up?

Montemalone
Montemalone

Is a "qualified marketing professional" one that makes donations?

CLANCEY
CLANCEY

The Laura Miller Memorial Pothole!

Chao
Chao

Dang I just hit another laura miller lol

Leslie Minora
Leslie Minora

 The Dr. Pepper River Corridor...now that sounds like a refreshing place to spend an afternoon.

Nick R.
Nick R.

The Dr Pepper River Corridor is actually sponsored by Starbucks

Nick R.
Nick R.

"Yeah I'll have two McArts Districts, one fries with extra Leppert"

JimS
JimS

Snap! Man, do I have an idea! Why don't we sell naming rights to the whole damn city to Fort Worth! Then we'd be ... Fort Worth!

Montemalone
Montemalone

Or, better yet, Arlington.Then all the whiners so upset that the football team isn't in Dallas could relax, cause it'd be Arlington.

G_David
G_David

Somebody should give ol' Smiley Jones a call and ask him how the market for naming rights is.  Last I heard, that huge turd on the prairie was still going by the extremely generic Cowboys Stadium.

fred
fred

Why would anyone want to be associated with Fort Worthless?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

maybe you should a ride on over there, then you could see what a real downtown should like after 530 pm on a weeknight or anytime on a weekend.  I dont hate Dallas, but Im just saying

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

and dallas has... oh thats right, nothing going on downtown.  Who comes to Downtown after 5 or weekends? At least fort worth's square is in its downtown

Marcelinoyanez
Marcelinoyanez

Ft. Worth doesn't have an active downtown... It has an active square...

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

so, inspired by Truth or Consequences, what do you think of"Beg Borrow or Steal, Tx"

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

I think that's the name for Rawlings memoir...'Beg, Borrow, or Steal...my rise to the top'.

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