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Element Signs Designer for $134 Million

Element has inked a deal with Matt Schmeltzer, graphic designer, for an unprecedented $134 million over the next five years. The deal contains $62 million in guarantees, including a $25 million signing bonus.

The new contract isn’t just about making Schmeltzer the highest paid marketing pro in ad agency history. It’s about ensuring that Element’s clients receive the quality they expect from the legendary company.

“Matt’s got game. His great eye for design is complemented by superior attention to detail,” said Lance Peroutka, Principal/Agency Director. “He also brings several valuable intangibles, such as leadership, creativity, and a wicked cut-shot in ping-pong.”

When the contract’s structure is evaluated, it appears Schmeltzer gave Element a slight hometown discount. Schmeltzer’s $9.5 million roster bonuses in 2014 and 2015 are not guaranteed for skill and/or injury. So, even as the upfront money is significant, the De Pere marketing firm felt confident locking up the virtuoso long-term.

“We could have extended negotiations on a new deal. But, we wanted to get him in here,” said Aldis Strazdins, the firm’s Principal/Creative Director. “If he outperforms his contract and is grossly underpaid, we can always restructure down the road,” he added.

The new deal leaves Element with enough cap room to extend other priority associates, some of which are scheduled to become free agents in 2013. Of course, Element can decide to carry over their unused cap space to 2014.

When asked for comment on the terms of the new contract, Schmetlzer, a man of few words, kept it simple: “Holy crap.”


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