Dark Puppet Sues Raider Park

By Abbie Arroyos and Alicia Keene

Lubbock businessman Clayton Isom and the troubled Raider Park parking garage face more legal problems. He and the parking garage limited partnership have been sued over an advertising deal that may put a large 3-D Coca-Cola bottle on the southeast corner of the 11-story parking garage.

A local advertising firm’s lawsuit filed last week in state district court in Lubbock accused Isom of fraud and breach of contract regarding advertising space on the structure.

The south side of the RaiderPark parking garage, displaying the current Suddenlink Communications "wallscape" advertisement

Dark Puppet, LLC, a Lubbock-based advertising agency specializing in large-scale advertisements, was working with Isom to erect large “wallscapes” on the southeast side of Raider Park parking garage located across Marsha Sharp Freeway from Jones AT&T Stadium, according to the lawsuit. Dark Puppet and RaiderPark had agreed on a series of advertisements on the garage similar to the current Suddenlink Communications wallscape on the structure, the lawsuit alleges.

In March 2013, Dark Puppet sent a letter agreement to Isom offering a deal with RaiderPark that gave sole responsibility to the advertising company to establish agreements with potential clients within 90 days, the lawsuit claims. If Dark Puppet and RaiderPark agreed on a contracted client within the 90 days, then Dark Puppet would become manager of the property for the “purposes of contracting, management, production, posting and removal of copy,” the lawsuit states. According to the letter agreement filed with the lawsuit, Isom signed it on Aug. 22.

The petition claims Dark Puppet and RaiderPark had agreed on a deal with Coca-Cola’s Los Angeles, Calif. home media buyer, NPRP Outdoor Media, within the 90-day time period.

The petition accuses Isom and RaiderPark of breaching the contract by entering directly into negotiations with Coca-Cola without Dark Puppet’s consent. The lawsuit does not state a source for this claim. The lawsuit also alleges RaiderPark and Isom had the intention of letting the 90 days expire without officially confirming Coca-Cola as an advertiser, so that Isom could pursue the deal independent of Dark Puppet.

During an initial phone conversation, NPRP Outdoor Media President Lauren Winters confirmed Dark Puppet was involved in a prospective deal between NPRP and Coca-Cola to put advertising on the RaiderPark parking garage. NPRP Outdoor Media CEO Brad Magers denied receiving any contact from Raider Park.

The concept drawing created to resemble the potential Coca-Cola advertisement

“We don’t work with the property owners. We work with the people who (represent) the property owners. So, that’s between the company that we work with that reps, and has a relationship with, the parking lot owner,” Winters said.

Dark Puppet was promised 30 percent of the gross revenue from successful deals, according to a letter agreement filed with the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims Isom excluded Dark Puppet from participation in the  Coca-Cola advertisement negotiations and sought to keep revenue from the advertisements for himself and Raider Park.

Dark Puppet had hired a third-party vendor in Los Angeles to produce concept drawings for the potential Coca-Cola advertising, which included a 3-D Coke bottle on the corner of the garage, and plans were drawn up for other advertising spaces, according to other documents filed with the lawsuit.

Thanks to the proximity of  Jones AT&T Stadium just across Marsha Sharp Freeway, Dr. Rebecca Ortiz, an assistant professor in the Department of Advertising in the College of Media & Communication, said the advertisements would have had the potential to reach a large audience because thousands of people could view the potential wallscape from the stadium.

“Impressions are how many people had the opportunity to see your ad,” Ortiz said. “So, how many cars drove by? And then, of course, you have to estimate how many people are in the car and that kind of thing. So, it’s not necessarily how many people saw it because you don’t know how many actually looked up and looked at it, but how many potential eyes saw it.”

The media kit provided in the petition states that a wallscape on the south side of the parking garage, approximately 75 feet wide by 65 feet long, would have had the ability to reach an estimated 368,000 people a week.  Texas Tech football home games could have boosted that number due to an approximate 60,000 Jones AT&T Stadium attendance and possible broadcast coverage.

Other possible wallscape plans in the Dark Puppet media kit showed the largest display on the west side of the garage and multiple wallscapes on the east side. The documents claim that all “properties are local and state-approved for wallscapes.”

dark-puppet-rate-cardA Dark Puppet rate card included in the lawsuit showed the rates for putting up the large displays. The prospective totals reach above $300,000, including production, installation, and a monthly rate for each display.

Dark Puppet principal Brandon Snyder could not be reached for comment, and the company’s lawyer, Charles Moster, declined to comment. Brett Caruso, Dark Puppet’s contracted concept designer, did not respond to phone calls. NPRP Outdoor Media declined further comment.

When contacted,  Isom requested comments be made through his attorney, Zach Brady, who declined to speak on the record during an initial contact and could not be reached for subsequent comment.

The defendants have until Oct. 7 to file an answer.

Raider Park opened in 2010 and the large advertising space sat empty for several years.

About Abbie Arroyos and Alicia Keene

Comments

  1. Excellent job Abs!

  2. Concerned Citizen says:

    Just a heads up, Clayton Isom is also on the Electric Utility Board for LP&L. He was a part of the decision to raise the rates with the poor execution that caused the protests in the City of Lubbock. He’s obviously in the business of benefitting from his fraternity relationships in the signing of the Raider Park deal, I wonder who he “paid back” with the LP&L deal?

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