The Super Bowl will arrive soon in Arizona. It’s as big as America’s favorite sport gets. And for us, 2022 was also super sized. Our biggest and most successful one yet, filled with fascinating cases, compelling clients and a touchdown or two. Here are some of the highlights that may be of interest, whether they make it onto ESPN’s Sportscenter or not they were very memorable moments from the past six months of the season.
FROM LANDFILL TO LANDMARK
It’s about game time of another sort, and for another sport, as the Arizona Coyotes ready for a May public vote on their mixed use project in Tempe that received a 7-0 blessing from the City Council last month. Projects like these don’t come around often. They are transformative. Think Westgate. Think downtown Phoenix. Being a part of the team to help make this one happen is particularly interesting and memorable. It’s now up to voters in Tempe to choose a better economy and environment over the bizarre criticism from specious special interests.
THAT WAS A BIG NUMBER
To see a hometown brand do good is always rewarding. But to see one of finest local brands and long-time client Barrett-Jackson do $252 million good in selling 55% of its company is tribute and testament to 50 years of excellence and innovation.
RECORD BOOKS, AGAIN, AND A 75TH ANNIVERSARY
There are not many Arizona companies that can host and boast a 75th Anniversary. Yet that’s what client and the premiere luxury real estate brokerage, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty just celebrated, along with new sales this year that set more records including record home sales in Scottsdale’s Silverleaf community and the highest lot/land sales this past year in Paradise Valley and Sedona.
SPEAKING OF ANNIVERSARIES
The Valley’s King of re-developing in-fill shopping centers and turning them from an eye sore into the most beloved strip mall in the area celebrates a big one this year. Michael Pollack’s Pollack Investments turns 50 and to celebrate Governor Ducey proclaimed Michael Pollack Day across the state, which will be celebrated January 11th. If that’s not enough – our own Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon kept Michael busy this holiday season with lots of TV and media segments talking about his FREE holiday movies in November and his $20,000 Shopping Spree to some of the Valley’s neediest families.
AS GOOD AS IT LOOKED
Everywhere they were, the 12,144 fans had plenty to see at The 11th Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, an event we created, own and produce. From the polo debut of Shane Doan, retired NHL and Arizona Coyotes Star to the special performances by the Phoenix Boys Choir, equestrian artist Carlotta with Four Legs on Set, and even accomplished saxophonist and composer Neamen Lyles. Ticket revenue for the 2022 event was up 12% over the record 2021, as were food and beverage sales. Guests enjoyed the return of the Riot House DayClub, an expanded Charros Lounge, and debut of the Harkin’s Theatre’s Prosecco and Popcorn, and Grimaldi’s Pizza Disco. What a year with November 4th the date for what will surely be an amazing 2023.
WELCOME TO CAMPUS
And in some cases welcome back. New & returning clients in the past six months included The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, The Saguaro Hotel, Arizona Bike Week, BASIS Schools, Bell Bank Park, Lifepoint, Big Game, Big Give, Harris Ranch (Boise), Republic Services, Sanderson Lincoln & Sazerac, among others. We would also like to welcome the newest face around the office, Maddie McKenna, who joined us in August as our new Public Relations and Public Affairs Coordinator.
Montelucia. Mountain Shadows. City North. The Adeline in downtown Phoenix. Crown Realty & Development did big things, led by Robert Flaxman. Colorful. Capable. Very capable. That’s why it was such a shock to say good-bye. Always very good to us, this dynamic developer will be missed after his sudden passing just months ago. Writing press releases to properly say good-bye is one of the hardest things we do on behalf of clients. After knowing and representing Robert for nearly two decades, his passing reminded us of this again, very unfortunately.
TINY TOWN. BIG STAKES.
The Town of Tusayan is Arizona’s smallest and sits adjacent to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Two years ago the head of our first and 26-year client decided to run for Mayor there. The odds were impossible. But she and they defied. Mayor Clarinda Vail has done a great job since being elected and sought election anew, again trying to defy odds that are too long to describe here, but as weird and real as they get in electoral politics. Defiance was her word and result again, winning a second term, promising more ethics and reform. Hers is certainly not the biggest campaign we have ever run. But among the most rewarding they have been.
Rose + Allyn was proud to be part of a dedicated and talented team to help pass a ballot measure to outlaw political “dark money” spending. Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard’s dream (and that of many Republicans and Independents too) of bringing transparency to political spending, Proposition 211, won with more than 72% of the vote, the most popular measure on Arizona’s 2022 ballot. Prop 211 enjoyed the support of a diverse and broad coalition such as Republican Vernon Parker, a former Paradise Valley Mayor, and independent businessman David Tedesco, CEO of Arizona based Outlier (another company client) who was the campaign’s top donor.
CLEARING THE SMOKE
There has been no more frustrating property in the Town of Paradise Valley than the old SmokeTree resort near Scottsdale and Lincoln. Fortunately, that may be changing thanks to new client Walton International which bought the property June 30th and has sensible plans to revitalize the site over the coming months and years. Since the purchase Walton with our assistance has undertaken significant public outreach, resulting in acclaim for its smart, modest vision for the property that avoids political pitfalls in favor of luxury and common sense.
DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING?
If you are going to do one higher purpose musical called Americano why not do two more? After two years of work, our Quixote Productions will bring Tiananmen: A New Musical, based on the 1989 student protests in Beijing, to The Phoenix Theatre Company beginning in October 2023 for 5 weeks. It will be one of the most important and provocative pieces of art in America at a time of a new, emerging Cold War between the United States and China and the struggle between democracy and authoritarianism now playing out on the world stage. Indeed, we are honored that Wu’er Kaixi, the charismatic leader of the protests, is now serving as a Conceiver and Creative Consultant to the show. His amazing courage and leadership is featured in the soon to be released documentary “The Exiles” which won a prominent award at Sundance earlier this year. And if that’s not enough we are working with an outstanding local group to launch “The Ghost of John McCain,” another new musical with great promise that you may be hearing more about.
BELL BANK PARK
We love big sports facilities, especially when we are representing them. Visited by millions since opening this year, Mesa’s Bell Bank Park is one of the largest in the United States. So when they called for communications help several months ago we were happy to step out of the on-deck circle for them.
The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT), a nation of 4,400 people in far western Arizona (and a long-time client), are moving closer towards a milestone that would provide Arizona with much needed drought relief while protecting the life of the Colorado River. Legislation that would allow CRIT to lease, not sell, a portion of its Colorado River allocation has passed the U.S. House and has been approved by the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. CRIT’s role as a problem solver as the drought lingers continues to draw statewide and national media coverage including the Arizona Republic, PBS, NPR, and the Indian Country Today network. It’s been an absolute pleasure to serve as CRIT’s main external communications team for many years.
It’s not often you get every single television news station (English and Spanish), plus radio and the state’s largest newspaper on-site for a new housing development but that’s actually what happened when we held a press conference with Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego to introduce Greenlight Communities’ new attainable Streamliner community. Co-Founders Pat Watts, Rob Lyles and Dan Richards joined Mayor Gallego to break ground on what will truly be the city’s most attainable, non-government subsidized community and we brought droves of media to help us tell that story!
BOFFO 2: NO LONGER HAZY
When life-saving legislation to ban hazing in Arizona went into effect, Rose + Allyn went into action. The firm’s Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon and Mike Scerbo arranged coverage featuring the trio who made the legislation happen: renowned Phoenix Attorney Pat McGroder (and the second client in our firm’s history back in 1996), Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh and Grace Culolias, the mother of Jack Culolias who died a decade ago following a hazing incident in Tempe. Every major media outlet in the Phoenix area attended this emotional news conference which delivered a much-needed message and return.
We are proud to have helped Behind the Flames, an annual Scottsdale Fire Fighters Charity Dinner, raise a record-breaking amount on September 18th. Thank you to all of the dignitaries, sponsors and supporters who gathered at STK, the new location for the event. The funds raised will help the charity continue their service to the Scottsdale community, including providing help to families during the holiday season.
SIP & STROLL
Cheers to long-time client Vestar this holiday season! What started out as an idea and Vestar led pilot program to allow patrons at outdoor shopping centers to sip and stroll with cocktails is now legal. Governor Doug Ducey signed the legislation and starting January 12th raise your glass to David Larcher, Jeff Axtell and their team when you are out shopping at Desert Ridge Marketplace or Tempe Marketplace.
Now that you have hopefully enjoyed our summary of the past six months that may rival “War & Peace” in length we want to wish you happy holidays and a healthy & prosperous New Year. And thank you, sincerely, for playing a part in a dynamic 2022 for clients and our company.