What a difference two years can make. The International Council of Shopping Centers, which paid Donald Trump $50,000 to give the keynote speech at its New York City conference in 2014, has booted former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as this year’s top speaker over his support for the controversial presidential candidate.
ICSC has decided to replace the city’s 107th mayor with Kevin Plank, CEO of the sports apparel retailer Under Armour, at the December expo after receiving letters from industry professionals calling on the council to dump Giuliani over his vocal support for Trump , the Commercial Observer reported.
“We shouldn’t bring politics into it,” said a broker who requested to remain anonymous. “We should have someone more open-minded and who is for globalization and not for stopping trade, etc.”
Plank, a former University of Maryland football player, caught the industry’s attention in July when he announced that Baltimore-based Under Armour had leased 53,000 square feet at the base of the General Motors Building, one of the most coveted retail locations in the city.
A spokesperson for ICSC declined to comment to the Commercial Observer on the replacement, but said an announcement will likely be made within a week.
Trump provided the keynote speech at ICSC’s annual conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in 2014. ICSC paid him $50,000, the candidate’s filings with the Federal Election Commission show. [CO] – Rich Bockmann