NZ Lotteries isn't spilling any beans on how much it paid to get Donald Trump involved with the new Big Wednesday promotion, but David Higgins of Duco, the events company behind the highly successful Tua versus Cameron fight, has intimate knowledge of the magnate in question and believes it probably cost much more than the estimates currently doing the rounds.
“Donald Trump doesn’t get out of bed for less than US$1 million, and that's what Lotteries have probably paid him or his charity,” he says. “If Lotteries has got him for anything less then that’s a real coup – because he has powerful cut-through.”
Higgins, whose company hosted international speakers such as Bill Clinton and Robert Kennedy Jnr, has been trying to lure Trump to New Zealand for years. “He’s very aware of his brand and charges accordingly.”
And he says it’s a mistake to think that Trump will charge a smaller amount for taking only an hour in a studio. “He doesn’t measure his fee by his time but by the impact the campaign will have. So if he knows his brand will be used on television, billboards and in newspapers, then he will calculate his fee on the scale of coverage.”
Higgins says Trump is an uncompromising negotiator. He points to Australian events company The Concept Store that was left some A$2 million out of pocket when Trump abandoned plans to speak at a series of events in 2008. “They couldn’t make his payment schedule so he left them high and dry.”
“It’s easy to question the amount Lotteries may have spent and say it’s too high – but if it works, which I think it will, then the price was right.”