Tuesday Trends sample: Milwaukee sponsorship rising, poverty mixed and Paul Jadin falling

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RISING

Milwaukee sponsorship: The city’s downtown convention center has undergone a number of identity changes as its naming rights have been tied up in a fickle airline industry. Originally the Midwest Airlines Center — before that brand was folded into Frontier Airlines — the facility will now be sponsored by a much larger carrier: Delta. The Atlanta-based airline, which also unveiled plans to move to a different concourse at Mitchell International Airport, announces a one-year deal with the Wisconsin Center District to assume the naming rights for what will become the Delta Center later this fall. The agreement also provides Delta with exclusive airline advertising rights to the U.S. Cellular Arena and the Milwaukee Theatre, and the company will be marketed as the preferred airline for convention travel to and from the city. Meanwhile, a Milwaukee city council committee backs a plan that could open up many more aspects of the city to corporate sponsorship. Under the Milwaukee Civic Partnership Initiative, the city could consider sponsorships, advertising or naming rights. The council’s lead sponsor of the plan notes the potential for millions in new revenue in a tight fiscal climate and that other cities throughout the country have undertaken similar proposals. He also says the council would have to endorse any proposed sponsorship agreement, assuring that the city won’t be selling its soul for ad money.

MIXED

Poverty: Newly released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that poverty rates both in the city of Milwaukee and in Wisconsin as a whole stayed the same in 2011 compared to the previous year. While that’s not good news for an area still reeling from the recession, observers say unchanged poverty rates provide some indication that poverty has bottomed out. Thirteen percent of the state’s population — an estimated 725,797 Wisconsinites, with some 236,730 children projected to be among them — lives below the poverty line, which is $22,350 in annual income for a family of four. The data also shows Milwaukee remains among the most impoverished large cities in the country. Its poverty rate of 29.4 percent last year was even with 2010; that total includes an estimated 171,500 residents — including 67,229 children — in Milwaukee. The poverty rate among children in Milwaukee dropped from over 46 percent in 2010 to 43 percent last year, according to the report.

FALLING

Paul Jadin: The CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. announces he’s leaving the state’s top economic development agency for Thrive, the Madison-based group charged with coordinating economic development efforts for eight southern Wisconsin counties. While Thrive officials say they’re thrilled, the move is seen by many as a step down for Gov. Scott Walker’s original Commerce secretary. It’s also not much of a shock to those who have been watching Jadin’s tenure with the quasi-governmental agency. Walker brought in Jadin, a former Green Bay mayor and head of the local chamber of commerce, to lead the transition from Commerce to the new WEDC, and there was occasional grumbling in the early going that things weren’t coming together as quickly as proponents of the change would have liked. Then, the WEDC made headlines when the agency offered a tax break to a company that was seeking a state contract — a big no-no. Not long after that happened, the governor sent deputy chief of staff Ryan Murray over to WEDC in what many viewed as a move designed to keep better tabs on Jadin. That leads some to speculate that Jadin’s departure came with a nudge. Walker says Jadin’s tenure gave the WEDC a strong foundation, and says the corporation’s board will conduct a nationwide search for a top-caliber CEO to take over.