WOODSIDE -- SugarDaddie.com may be better at matching wealthy older men with younger women than it is at picking targets for publicity stunts.
The online dating site announced Wednesday it is offering the town of Woodside -- where some of the world's richest daddies and mommies hunker down in privacy -- the sum of $11.65 million to change its name for 10 years to "SugarDaddie.com, USA."
If the woodsy enclave took the bait, it would have to change the names of its town hall and library accordingly and refer to itself by its new title in all official correspondence. It would also need to hand SugarDaddie.com CEO Steven Pasternack a key to the town during a high-profile ceremony and erect a statue of Hugh Hefner or another iconic sugar daddy of the town's choosing.
Vice Mayor David Burow cracked up when he heard about the indecent proposal, saying SugarDaddie's arrow appears to have missed its mark.
"I guess they don't know Woodside -- they picked a town that actually doesn't seek publicity," Burow said. "People go to Woodside to be anonymous."
SugarDaddie spokesman Darren Shuster acknowledged the company, which got a lot of press earlier this month for making a less-generous offer ($4.65 million) to the affluent Texas city of Sugar Land, is simply making a bid for
"It is a publicity stunt," Shuster said. "But that doesn't mean that we don't have the money to back it."
While a check for $12 million would pay for a lot of street signs and copier toner, it's not going to raise many eyebrows in Woodside, where lots of people have that much coin spilling out of their blue jean pockets. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Intel co-founder Gordon Moore are among the most prominent denizens of this quiet town, where last year a hilltop home sold for $117.5 million.
No wonder the dating service has offered to donate the $11.65 million to a charitable cause of Woodside's choosing.
Still, Councilman Ron Romines couldn't resist a counterproposal.
"I don't think Woodside can be bought so cheaply," he joked, "but I will offer to change my name for that sum of money."
Not everyone is scoffing at SugarDaddie's idea. At Buck's Restaurant, the legendary Woodside eatery where Silicon Valley giants discuss megadeals over stuffed artichokes and sweet potato fries, Harold Klemperschwitz said Woodside and environs could be a robust market for the dating site.
"There's a bunch of single, rich tech guys," said Klemperschwitz, a 33-year-old entrepreneur who's lived in Woodside for about a year. "This is sugar-daddy central."
If rejected by Woodside, SugarDaddie will continue its search for a city to brand in celebration of the company's 10-year anniversary. But it may have a tough sell in the Bay Area, even in communities that could use the cash.
Half Moon Bay flirted with discorporation several years ago due to financial problems, but Mayor Allan Alifano said Wednesday the small town on the San Mateo County coast is on the mend.
"If we were really, really desperate, maybe we'd think about it," Alifano said about SugarDaddie's hunt for a branding partner.
Vallejo is emerging from bankruptcy, and the North Bay city even had a meeting Tuesday about new ways to brand itself, but Councilwoman Marti Brown said SugarDaddie would not be a good fit.
"I think that's insane," Brown said of of the company's proposition. "That's not the new image that the city of Vallejo is looking for."