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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 237 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Peter Corbett’s article in the August 21, 2015 edition of the Arizona Republic reports settlement of a 2014 law suit between the Coyotes and Jason Rose of Rose+Moser+Allyn Public & Online Relations firm. Here is the link:  http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/08/21/coyotes-settle-lawsuit-scottsdale-polo-event/32112415/ .

The Coyotes had hired Rose’s public relations firm to work to defeat a citizen referendum in Glendale designed to block the arena deal between the Coyotes and the city. The referendum was unsuccessful and the Coyotes subsequently owed the firm a base fee of $25,000 and a $250,000 bonus. To pay off the debt the Coyotes were supposed to sponsor the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships (Rose’s baby) to the tune of $55,000 annually and give two front row hockey tickets for 8 games a season for 5 years.

Then LeBlanc seems to have stiffed Rose. The public relations firm got its base fee of $25,000 and one year of sponsorship in 2013…not the $55,000 promised but only $25,000. After that the spigot closed and the Coyotes did not pay another dime.

The judge handling the case granted the public relations firm’s motion for a jury trial. Can you imagine? Another round of negative publicity from a jury trial for the Coyotes? You can be sure after that motion was granted the real negotiation for a final settlement began. Last week both sides finally settled.

What is in this final settlement? No one knows. The terms are undisclosed and no one is talking…not the Coyotes and not Rose. Rose probably got his pound of flesh or he wouldn’t have settled. LeBlanc probably shouldn’t have promised what appears he didn’t intend to deliver.

It raises an issue of concern. The city’s cancelling of the original lease management agreement was a wise move. What was LeBlanc failing to report that the city had no means to verify? If and when the city reenters negotiation with the Coyotes for another long term agreement hopefully the city will include protections and means of verification that were absent in the original agreement. However, it would be prudent for the city to wait until the RFP bids have come in. They will be very helpful in determining fair market values. This time around there are lessons to be learned from recent history. Let’s hope the city does its homework.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Read more

Caitlin McGlade, a reporter for the Arizona Republic, has a story on June 4, 2014 regarding a debt that IceArizona allegedly owes to the PR firm of Rose+Moser+Allyn (RMA). Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2014/06/03/coyotes-owner-sued-deal/9942991/ . The PR firm has filed suit in Maricopa County Superior Court,”arguing that the team stiffed them on nearly a quarter of a million dollars.”

It seems that in August of 2013 after IceArizona had successfully secured the $15 million annual management arena contract from Glendale, it wanted to forestall any type of Coyotes referendum effort that would lead to an election on the issue. IceArizona hired RMA and promised to pay a base fee of $25,000, provide two front row tickets to eight hockey games per season and pay $250,000 over five years as a sponsorship fee to the Scottsdale Polo Championships (an event owned by the PR firm). It appears that the IceArizona check for the base fee of $25,000 bounced. It also appears that IceArizona is not disputing the facts of the deal but rather is claiming that there was a caveat that the polo sponsorship was supposed to bring value to IceArizona and it has not done so. That appears to be the basis of their reasoning for reneging on the $250,000 sponsorship fee.

What is interesting is that this deal was a “handshake” deal agreed to by all parties verbally and in email exchanges. Don’t you think RMA’s first clue that there might be problems with IceArizona would have been the bounced $25,000 check?

Didn’t RMA realize that IceArizona’s modus operandi appeared to be reliance upon everyone else’s money but their own? After all, the IceArizona owners put comparatively little of their own money up to buy the team. Instead they took out huge loans from Fortress Investment Group and the National Hockey League. IceArizona is in debt up to its eyeballs and the interest on that debt is being covered by Glendale every year in the form of the $15 million payment for arena management. Glendale has been directed by IceArizona to send the money directly to its lenders.

This suit promises to be fascinating but ugly. Rose+Moser+Allyn is a smart and saavy PR firm that has the capability to do a lot of damage to IceArizona’s reputation (such as it is). You would think IceArizona would settle out of court. If that happens RMA would be well advised to get a Cashier’s check or better still, cash.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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