BATAVIA — The Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) Board of Directors this morning unanimously approved a contract with Buffalo Bills Hall-of-Fame running back Thurman Thomas to continue to be the face of the Batavia Downs restaurant Labatt Blue Zone at 34 Rush.
According to the resolution for the naming rights/personal services agreement, WROTB will pay Thomas $10,000 per month, over 18 months, to be available to the corporation to attend events at Batavia Downs and meet patrons.
“The contract was up at the end of last year. Because of the pandemic and there really wasn’t a lot going on, we had worked and had a nice, fair relationship,” said WROTB and Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek. “Thurman Thomas allowed us to use his likeness in 34 Rush when we were open. We discussed the contract this year.”
As far as Thomas’ contractual obligations, Wojtaszek said, “He appears at all the games we have at Bills stadium. He appears here on-site for various events, including concerts, golf tournaments ... also helps us on our social media, relative social media presence. He appears at the restaurant ...”
WROTB will not pay Thomas as much as it has in the past, Wojtaszek said.
“There’s a reason for it,” he said. “We picked up some of the things he used to do ... We’re doing a lot of the advertisements. He still will do some for us. The things that we’ve asked him to do have gone down. We believe he’s a very positive, strong presence for us in the community. He’s a very well-liked, very well-respected individual and we’re very proud to have a relationship with him.”