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: . 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


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