Oakland Mayor Jean Quan did what Ron Dellums and Jerry Brown did not do: get together Oakland business leaders and have them (in this case) actively express their support to keep the Oakland A’s in Oakland.
In the case of Brown, Sports Agent and friend Leigh Steinberg and I met with him in August of 1999 and gave him a 10-point action plan of work regarding getting the Super Bowl to Oakland. Three of the things Brown was to do was to contact Oakland business leaders; Jerry Brown did nothing.
Normally, the press released sent from the Mayor’s Office have been less than exciting, reporting on the normal artistry-of-cat-saving news; not this time:
OAKLAND, CA– Chairman and CEO of The Clorox Company Don Knauss, joined by several of the largest companies located in the East Bay, today stood with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to announce support for keeping the Athletics baseball team in Oakland.
At the event, Knauss stated, “Clorox strongly and enthusiastically endorses the efforts of the East Bay business community and City of Oakland to keep the Oakland A’s here in a new, world-class stadium. As former president and CEO of the Minute Maid Company, I was actively involved in the design of the new Houston Astros downtown ballpark and subsequently secured naming rights to change the name to Minute Maid Park. From that experience, I can speak first-hand to the revitalization a world-class ballpark can bring to a city. Certainly, Oakland would benefit greatly from the jobs, tourism and vitality a new stadium would bring.
“The business community is committed to helping drive an effort to support the current ownership group in their quest for a new stadium so long as they are committed to staying in Oakland,” Knauss went on to say. “However, if the current ownership group is not committed to Oakland, we want to make clear that Oakland and the East Bay business community are ready to step up to the plate to help ensure the A’s stay home where they belong in Oakland. We’re confident we have identified an ownership group with the financial wherewithal to buy the team, keep them here and get a new stadium built.”
Added Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, “I want to thank Clorox and members of the business community for doing what is necessary to keep the A’s in Oakland. Developing a world-class sports, entertainment and business complex as a new home for the A’s will generate thousands of jobs and create economic development opportunities for this City.”
At the event, the East Bay business leaders said they are prepared to work with the City, County and A’s ownership to help secure corporate sponsors in the following areas:
• Stadium Naming Rights
• Major Corporate Sponsorship Commitments – Significant anchor sponsorships, including seat licenses and luxury boxes. (A number of the companies have already made substantial deposits into an escrow account to demonstrate their seriousness when it comes to such sponsorship commitments.)
• Other Regional Sponsorships — Given the size and breadth of the East Bay, home to nearly 2.5 million people, representing one of the country’s strongest economic markets and huge marketing and sponsorship opportunities, the business leaders made clear they would work with the City and the County to identify additional corporate supporters throughout the entire Bay Area and beyond, including Sacramento and Stockton.
• Reaching Out to Business Partners – Given the size of the companies, many have relationships with business partners who would have a strong interest in supporting the team and the region as sponsors.
• Identifying Specific Industry Anchor Sponsor Opportunities – Pursuing opportunities for the kind of anchor sponsorship relationships Major League Baseball teams typically have in sectors like the airlines, health care, car manufacturers, beverage and food companies, energy companies and major consumer companies.
Among the East Bay businesses represented today are:
• Bigge Crane & Rigging
• Jobs and Housing Coalition
• Kaiser Permanente
• Matson Navigation Company
• Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
• Pandora Internet Radio
• Reynolds & Brown
• Signature Development Group
• Wendel Rosen Black & Dean
• World Market
I have to praise Mayor Quan for getting this right on. The next step is to audit the Oakland Coliseum, so we can get a handle on where it really is at.