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  1. #1
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Oakland stadiums to be branded by Overstock
    Overstock has had a sketchy reputation with affiliates so thought it was fitting that they sponsor the Raider: Newsmakers - E-commerce scores with a stadium branding deal - Internet Retailer

  2. #2
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    "Overstock.com is thrilled to become a part of Oakland and Alameda County, and to be associated with the Raiders and the A's, two globally recognized championship teams," says Overstock.com chairman and CEO Patrick Byrne. "The Overstock.com brand is a great fit with these teams and with the excitement and culture of the area." (emphasis added)
    I assume that Overstock.com only intends to become a virtual part of Oakland and Alameda County, and will vicariously enjoy the excitement and culture here.

    This is the same Overstock.com which has announced that if California enacts an "advertising-nexus" tax law, it will terminate its performance-based advertising relationships with all California publishers, so that it still won't be required to collect sales tax from its California customers.

    I think I understand the legal and business issues here, yet it's bizarre to put your company's name on a stadium complex while claiming that your company has no "physical presence" anywhere in the state where the stadium is located.

    I would expect this deal to be a magnet for criticism by local retailers upset about "sales tax unfairness" (and the stadium sign should provide a nice visual backdrop for protestors seeking TV coverage).

    There's more to criticize, including the notion that the city or any team is "overstock" (discount, distress sale), and of course what will happen if the company continues its shift to "O.co" as its brand.

    As a taxpayer here in Alameda County, I'm glad to hear of any new revenue for the stadium complex (but I won't be surprised if I learn that none of this money actually benefits taxpayers).
    Last edited by markwelch; May 2nd, 2011 at 06:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it be funny if California considered a multi-million dollar sponsorship of a California sports team to be a physical presence? (Makes about as much sense as affiliates creating a nexus!)
    Michael Coley
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  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Or not so funny if the State says any advertising within that State is construed as having a nexus...

    • Billboards
    • TV ads
    • Radio Ads
    • Print Ads
    • Internet Ads
    • Stadiums
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  5. #5
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    Actually, some states do have laws "on the books" which purport to require sales-tax collection if a company buys advertising or sends catalogs or other direct-mail to state residents (most such laws were enacted before the internet). I don't think any state has actually sought, in the past two decades, to enforce these laws, which blatantly contradict the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Quill case. The laws remain "on the books" because legislative action would be required to repeal them and remove them from the state's statutes, and there's no real benefit to legislators or constituents from doing so.

    For a strange example, here's the North Carolina statute, in relevant part:
    North Carolina General Statutes 105-164.8 Retailer's obligation to collect tax; mail order sales subject to tax

    (a) Obligation. A retailer is required to collect the tax imposed by this Article notwithstanding any of the following:

    (1) That the purchaser's order or the contract of sale is delivered, mailed, or otherwise transmitted by the purchaser to the retailer at a point outside this State as a result of solicitation by the retailer through the medium of a catalogue or other written advertisement.
    ...
    (5) The retailer, by purposefully or systematically exploiting the market provided by this State by any media‑assisted, media‑facilitated, or media‑solicited means, including direct mail advertising, distribution of catalogs, computer‑assisted shopping, television, radio or other electronic media, telephone solicitation, magazine or newspaper advertisements, or other media, creates nexus with this State. A nonresident retailer who purchases advertising to be delivered by television, by radio, in print, on the Internet, or by any other medium is not considered to be engaged in business in this State based solely on the purchase of the advertising.
    I can't make sense of that last paragraph, which is quite self-contradictory. (IANAL)
    Last edited by markwelch; May 2nd, 2011 at 06:48 PM.

  6. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch View Post
    I can't make sense of that last paragraph, which is quite self-contradictory.
    I, too, was reading along thinking to myself "uh-huh, uh-huh" - Until I got to the last paragraph and all I had left was "huh?"...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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