In 2000, Guinness UDV purchased the naming rights for the Starplex Amphitheater, a 20,000 seat music venue in South Dallas, and announced, along with Dallas City Councilman Leo V. Chaney, Jr., a $3.8 million community partnership with the citizens of Dallas.  The Amphitheater was renamed the Smirnoff Music Centre in recognition of one of Guinness UDV’s top brands, Smirnoff.  The announcement successfully communicated Guinness UDV’s genuine commitment to the community as an active and responsible corporate citizen and placated any negative responses that may have resulted from the announcement of the re-naming.    


Objectives and Planning:


Several objectives surrounded the naming of the Smirnoff Music Centre.  Specifically, Guinness UDV sought to:


·        Purchase the naming rights to a 20,000 seat music center in South Dallas for one of Guinness UDV’s priority brands, Smirnoff,

·        Announce a community partnership with the City of Dallas and its citizens, illustrating Guinness UDV’s corporate citizenship,

·        Reinforce Guinness UDV’s commitment to social responsibility.


Guinness UDV worked with local minority and community groups to identify programs that would provide the greatest benefits to the local Dallas community.  Discussions revealed that the South Dallas community could utilize additional funding and support for several community groups, for neighborhood crime watch patrols, for a “Smart and Sober Taxi Service” and for responsibility advertising and programs.




With the potential for strong negative public feedback, Guinness UDV had to be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any negative pushback from community leaders and members.  To meet this challenge, the Company briefed local, state and federal legislators on Guinness UDV’s commitment to being an active and contributing member of the community and on working with them to support community and neighborhood programs. 


Strategic Approach & Campaign Execution:


After consultation with local minority and community leaders, Guinness UDV created a community partnership program to include:


·        A series of benefit concerts that will generate funds for South Dallas/Fair Park charitable and educational organizations. 

·        Sponsorship of South Dallas community programs that will be focused on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Merchants Association, Johnnie’s Manor addiction rehabilitation center and Springfest, an annual event providing groceries and benefits to low-income families throughout Dallas.

·        Funding for the South Dallas/Fair Park Trust Fund will be earmarked for neighborhood crime watch patrols.

·        Smart and Sober Taxi Service will be made available following Smirnoff Music Centre events and during peak holiday times in high traffic areas around Greater Dallas.

·        Responsibility advertising has been placed in Dallas media, on Smirnoff Music Centre signage and on ticket backs communicating social responsibility messages.


Smirnoff Music Centre on site programs will include a designated driver concession window, distribution of educational materials on drink driving and underage drinking, state-f-the-art alcohol server training, and a rotating series of public service announcements played on video systems produced by Recording Artists Against Drunk Driving (RADD).


On August 8, 2000, at the City of Dallas Public Library, Guinness UDV, along with Dallas City Councilman Leo V. Chaney Jr., announced these community programs and the Company’s commitment being an active member of the Dallas community. 




Guinness UDV’s commitment to the community and its purchase of the naming rights to the music centre resulted in several articles, including a cover story in the local community paper, The Weekly.  Councilman Leo Chaney, who was initially skeptical of Smirnoff’s purchase of the Starplex Amphitheater, later stated:

“I saw this as an opportunity to generate something good for the community…” Dallas City Councilman Leo Chaney, August 8, 2000, Dallas Morning News