Article: The puzzling non-profit behind the “World Trade Center” name makes a surprising amount of money
Reports surfaced this weekend that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had sold the rights to the name “World Trade Center” back in 1986 for just $10. The buyer, a not-for-profit named the “World Trade Centers Association” (WTCA), has been licensing the name to buildings around the world for a yearly fee of $10,000, plus a $200,000 initial registration. In return for use of the name on New York’s new One World Trade Center tower and on associated souvenirs, WTCA is asking for free office space in the tower worth $500,000.
The organization itself is as strange as the deal. Its 2011 tax filing says that “The World Trade Center Association promotes world trade through the concept of World Trade Centers established in cities throughout the world.” A video it produced argues that the name-recognition brings international visitors to world trade centers, who “introduce new spending, which results in a positive fiscal impact on the host community.” Its director of member services, Robert Frueh, says “We are a trusted brand, a branding solution.”
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New York Times article on Sept 18, 2013:
World Trade Centers Association website