Tendering the Colosseum

Just picture this tender document: “Private sector partner wanted to help refurbish 2,000-year old, former sports arena that used to host gladiatorial combat and other bloody spectacles, now used for tourist purposes. Construction cost: €25 million. Concession period: two to three years”.

We know what you’re thinking: sports infrastructure is not that exciting and two to three years is a very short time to get back €25 million. It’s just not a deal your average infrastructure investor can handle. And that’s why Tod’s, the Italian shoemaker, decided to step up:

“A monument that represents Italy in the world must be restored, and a company that represents ‘Made in Italy’ stepped forward to say, `if you need us, we are here,’” Tod’s founder Diego Della Valle dramatically told reporters, with a patriotic tear in his eye (probably).

In exchange for helping save one of the world’s most loved monuments, Tod’s gets some brand leverage. No need to fear a gigantic Tod’s shoe over the Colosseum though; Della Valle said he would limit Tod’s logo to scaffolds and promotional materials. Phew.