What exactly happened on December 2, 2013?
First, we changed the name of our parent company from Standard Parking Corporation to SP Plus Corporation and, in Canada, we changed Standard Parking of Canada’s name to SP Plus Corporation Canada. In casual conversation, we’ll refer to the Company simply as SP+.
Secondly, we changed the ticker symbol that our stock trades under on the Nasdaq from STAN to SP.
Why did you change the Company name?
We changed the Company’s name because we have grown into more than just a parking company. Certainly we’re still the largest provider of parking management services in North America with our Standard Parking and Central Parking brands (and our USA Parking brand in the hospitality industry), but the fact is we also provide:
- Ground transportation services – we operate a fleet of more than 750 shuttle buses and transport more than 41 million passengers every year.
- Facility maintenance services in 28 U.S. cities – we can sweep, scrub, power wash, paint and stripe the parking garages, and provide other seasonal services such as snow removal.
- Professionally trained and licensed security officers in six states and in Canada, and we’ll expand into other states as client needs dictate.
- Event logistics services for major special events (like the Super Bowl, the Olympic Games, the NCAA Final Four, World Cup Soccer and even the Presidential Inauguration) and major event venues (like Dodger Stadium, FedEx Field and MetLife Stadium).
Given the breadth of our service lines, it became important for our company to have a name that doesn’t give the impression we’re just a parking company.
Does the name change affect your management agreements with your clients or your leases with your landlords?
No. Standard Parking Corporation simply changed its name, and the underlying legal entity itself was unaffected and remains intact, with the same TIN. So management agreements and leases made with Standard Parking Corporation are unaffected.
No changes of any kind were made to our Central Parking subsidiary (or any legal entity other than Standard Parking Corporation). So, literally nothing has changed for those companies.
Why did you pick SP+ as your new name?
For several reasons. We actually introduced our SP Plus brand in 2009 as our non-parking service lines started growing. So the name SP Plus has been around for years and people within those service areas are already familiar with the brand.
Moreover, with the October 2012 merger of Standard Parking and Central Parking, we wanted a new, bold logo to recognize the merger’s transformational significance for our future.
In terms of the new logo itself:
- The “SP” is in recognition of Standard Parking
- The gold color of our “+” symbol acknowledges Central Parking’s legacy gold symbol
- The “+” itself signifies the added value we bring to our clients as a single-source provider for many of their needs
Tell me more about what the “+” means.
It signifies the various, cumulative ways we bring value to our clients and customers. For example:
- It reflects our ability to be a single-source provider of any one of the five distinct service lines we offer, whether it’s parking, ground transportation, facility maintenance, security or event logistics.
- It also symbolizes the fact that we have experts in nine different, dedicated operating groups that each focus exclusively on a single market in the real estate industry, whether it’s airports, hotels, healthcare, residential, municipal, university and the like.
- Our Commitment Statement, Innovation In Operation, signifies our promise to our clients and each other to constantly challenge ourselves to improve our services, products and processes, using our tools and cultural values to do so. Those tools and values are reflected by our “+ words”: innovation + integrity + excellence + creativity + initiative + experience + knowledge + technology + efficiency + expertise.
The + signifies the value we bring by offering all of these things together.
What are some examples of your Company’s innovations?
One great example is the musical-theme floor reminder system we developed in the 1980s, which linked a song to a specific level within a parking facility to help folks remember where they parked. In fact, the system was so innovative that in 1987 we were awarded a U.S. Patent on it.
We also introduced Ambiance In Parking in the early 1990s. Ambiance In Parking was an overall method for the delivery of parking services that bundled a variety of parking facility characteristics, such as:
- bright lighting
- fresh paint
- immaculate cleanliness
- complimentary driver services
- clutter-free cashier booths
- professionally uniformed and groomed employees
- well-designed and easy-to-follow garage signage
- small touches of home such as flowers at the front desk or in valet waiting areas
Ambiance In Parking may not have been as dramatic as the patented musical floor reminder system, but its innovative impact was just as great. In fact, because our competitors started copying it, it had the effect of raising the stature of the entire parking industry.
More recent examples of our innovative tendencies are our development of Internet-based, consumer-facing initiatives to market our parking facilities. We developed city-centric websites that list all of our parking facilities in a city to make it easy for consumers to find a convenient place to park. For consumers on the go, we developed a mobile app that enables them to do the same thing. These were innovative approaches that changed how our parking facilities are marketed and how our customers find them.
These are just a few examples of the innovative penchant that’s in our DNA.
I notice you’re still operating many of your garages under your Standard Parking and Central Parking brands. Why?
We didn’t want to cause confusion by making an immediate switch to an unfamiliar brand because our clients and consumers had known us for years as Standard Parking and Central Parking. We now have started the process of converting our garage operations to our new SP+ Parking brand. The conversion will take place gradually but we expect it to be substantially completed by the end of 2015.
How can I learn more about SP+?
Please visit our website, www.spplus.com. You can see specific investor-related information by clicking on the “Investor Relations” selection in the navigation bar.