Jul 25, 2011 at 04:00 PM
written by

Australian Brand Hires Lobbying Firm in $27 M Bid for White House Sponsorship

In a new take on the term "cleaning up the white house," Australian stain removal brand, Vanish NapiSan, has started a campaign to get exclusive naming rights to the White House for a fee of $27 million over 5 years.

"With the huge deficit that the US economy is faced with, and with the Australian economy buoyant, the company believes the money can help provide some relief," the company says. At first this seemed like just another silly PR stunt, but it seems the company's plan may have a bit more to it.

The brand's parent company, Reckitt Benckiser has appointed Grayling, a Public Policy Management and Communications firm in Washington D.C., to spearhead the campaign and initiate contact with Members of Congress and other political influencers to seek support for the proposal. The Australian brand has also sent a delegation, which arrived today, to "represent" the company in negotiating the sponsorship terms with the White House. While it's doubtful they'll get very far, the fact that they're willing to go that far will certainly get some headlines.

"The US has always been there for Australia and so we believe it is our turn to help," Adam Whittaker, Vanish NapiSan's Sponsorship Spokesperson, said. "With the Aussie dollar at an all-time high and President Obama looking to head off what he describes as an 'economic Armageddon', we are expecting a warm reception for our proposal from progressive political figures who are looking for innovative ways to raise revenues. We are determined to secure the deal in the coming weeks."

In making their pitch, the brand compares the potential deal to sponsorship of various other landmarks including: The Sydney Tower, which this year became Westfield Tower, The Washington Redskins stadium, which was renamed the FedEx Field, thanks to a Federal Express sponsorship, The Staples Center in Los Angeles and in Chicago, The Willis Group Holdings took on the naming rights for the iconic former Sears Tower in 2009; it is now The Willis Tower.

File this one away under the case study entitled strategically timing a sponsorship offer. If anything comes of this, we'll let you know in future posts.