The Chargers are long gone from San Diego, but Dan Jauregui still keeps the faith — that he can find a buyer for Boltman.
Once the self-described No. 1 Chargers fan, Ramona real-estate agent Jauregui is offering his stylish Boltman mascot costume and license and rights to the name.
You can be Boltman, or at least buy the package, for $50,000.
Unlike previous eBay efforts, this time Jauregui has a set cost on the suit. No auction. No reserve price and deadline to bid. He says he’s invested $150,000 in the mascot.
In 2018, the highest bid for the rakish character was $71,600. But it didn’t reach the unstated price Jauregui (pronounced Jehr-EGG-ee) set as the minimum he’d accept. A 2010 auction also failed.
In a July 2018, opinion piece, Jauregui said: “If I were to have accepted this bid, it would have negatively affected me financially. With 50% of the potential winning bid dedicated to Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, the net proceeds after all taxes and fees would have been roughly $20,000. After over two decades and investing over six figures, it would not have been a wise choice to sell at that price.”
This time, he’s not sharing the proceeds with any charity.
“Boltman’s intellectual property protection with his trademark and copyright on the character are invaluable for anyone looking to make a lucrative business on it through marketing and merchandising in Los Angeles and keep the Boltman legacy alive,” Jauregui said in a phone interview.
The Chargers used Jauregui-as-Boltman on the field for two seasons in the 1996-1997, but didn’t pay him. He sued the Chargers in San Diego Superior Court, saying he expected a yearly “salary comparable to that paid to other NFL team mascots in the range of $30,000 to $50,000 and obtaining corporate sponsorships for Boltman.
As recounted in my 2015 Voice of San Diego story, Jauregui had a document signed by Bill Johnston, the longtime Chargers director of public relations, offering Jauregui $300 a game and $300 for each private appearance as Boltman.
When Jauregui rejected what he deemed a puny amount, Johnston raised the bid to a flat $20,000 to buy Boltman outright, Jauregui said. The suit was settled in November 1999, with the Chargers paying. Jauregui about $35,000.
The Los Angeles Chargers won their season opener Sunday with a 24-19 victory over the host Las Vegas Raiders. Boltman wasn’t there — except in the hearts of Bolts fans, Jauregui believes.
“I’m looking for someone to continue the Legacy in L.A. — a fan or maybe a business would acquire it and utilize it,” Jauregui says. “That’d be great. … There’s a lot of potential there for a business in L.A., to maybe, you know, put it on display at their bar.”
Jauregui says he sent email to the Chargers asking if the team were interested in buying Boltman. He got no reply. Neither did Times of San Diego in email to Chargers media staffers.
The former season ticket-holder says he attended only one Chargers game last season — against the Raiders — but doesn’t plan to drive to SoFi Stadium at all this year.
“I have no animosity towards [team owner] Dean Spanos or anything,” Jauregui says. “I would love to see [Boltman] on the field.”
As of a year ago, five NFL teams had no on-field mascot. Besides the Chargers, they were the New York Jets, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and Washington Football Team.
In 2018, according to USA Today, eBay bidding for Boltman started at $5,000 but “rocketed up to $50,900 after 62 bids.”
“It’s a steep price, for sure,” wrote Lindsay Hood, “but how often do you get a chance to dress up like a rubber lightning bolt wearing sun glasses?”