Last week, a company from outside the region announced it would invest over $3.3 million in the Quad Cities. Instead of welcoming them however, the general public expressed concern about the name. We’re asking Chamber members to lead the way in welcoming TaxSlayer to the Quad Cities community.
The Illinois Quad-City Civic Center announced last week that TaxSlayer, a family-owned business out of Augusta-Georgia, purchased the naming rights to what was the iWireless Center. Over the course of 10 years, TaxSlayer will pay over $3.3 million, a move that provides them the ability to name the civic center and also secures the financial stability of a treasured local amenity.
“This is an incredible opportunity for the civic center and the Quad Cities region,” says Scott Mullen, Executive Director, TaxSlayer Center. “Having a company with a nationally recognized brand like TaxSlayer will give the arena a bigger and better image nationwide, and will be to our benefit when working with national promoters and agents in New York, L.A. and Nashville.”
TaxSlayer Center hosts approximately 100 shows per year in the arena and 290 conference center events. Last year arena events such as concerts and other shows drew 360,000 people while non-arena events drew an additional 45,000 people, with about 68% of those coming from the region, and 32% coming from out of the area.
TaxSlayer Center is a non-profit organization. One hundred percent of its revenue goes back into the facility, providing upgrades and incorporating new technologies for the benefit of its guests. Without a major corporate sponsor, the civic center would either be forced to request tax payer funding, and/or would not have the resources to make continued facility upgrades that make it an attractive draw for top-notch artists and our community. Selling arena naming rights has been a standard practice in the industry for the past 25 years as a way to be economically feasible.
Mullen says that the civic center board of directors hired Impression Sports & Entertainment out of Denver, CO to locate a new naming partner after iWireless announced in April 2016 that it would end its sponsorship contract in July 2017. Impression Sports & Entertainment approached regional companies with the naming rights proposal, but in the end located a company from outside of the area that would provide the most competitive and beneficial proposal for the arena.
“Many of the communities that we aspire toward have an incredible amount of corporate investment that helps underwrite the amenities that create a strong quality of life,” says Kristin Glass, Interim CEO, Quad Cities Chamber. “Having a new company in the mix to bolster our amenities leverages the great corporate investment we already experience in the Quad Cities. The fact that TaxSlayer chose to invest in the Quad Cities is a testament to the growth and energy of our community, and I hope this is the start of a new trend where companies from beyond our region will choose the Quad Cities for civic and social investment.”
As our region continues to stride toward the goals of Q2030, funding through corporate investment will be a game-changer. We’re thankful to TaxSlayer, and the many local companies who invest millions of dollars into the amenities, non-profits and the like that are creating a more vibrant community with each day.
Chamber members, we’re calling on you: welcome TaxSlayer to the region!
“We slay taxes and develop killer software”
TaxSlayer is an innovative, family-owned company, much like many of our local Quad Cities businesses. Founded in 1965 in Augusta, Georgia as an income tax preparation company called Rhodes-Murphy & Co., they ventured into software development in 1989 which enabled them to prepare tax returns by computer instead of by hand – something which was revolutionary at the time. In 1991 they renamed the company TaxSlayer Pro after the original email address of Jimmy Rhodes, son of the founder. Now a well-known tax preparation and financial software company, TaxSlayer Pro and TaxSlayer.com prepare millions of federal and state tax returns annually.
TaxSlayer focuses sponsorships dollars on sporting events, building dynamic partnerships that allow them to engage with their consumers and become the fabric of the events and properties they sponsor. They are proud sponsors of the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, FL, and they sponsor PGA golfer Patrick Reed and Pro golfer Kevin Kisner.
TaxSlayer also has a commitment to social responsibility, stating that their purpose in providing community sponsorship and funding “is to award programs and projects that have the potential for high impact and significant positive change in our community. We believe in helping organizations that work to improve confidence and self-sufficiency, education, and give others the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals.”