Kelowna’s Parkinson Recreation Centre.—Image: City of Kelowna

Kelowna ready to play the name (selling) game

New sponsorship program aims to raise $800,000 in new revenue for city over next five years

After nearly a year of planning, Kelowna says it’s ready to start selling naming rights for civic facilities.

Announced last November, the city’s new corporate sponsorship and advertising program is a five-year pilot project that aims to generate $800,000 in new revenue for the city between now and 2022.

The program will let the city sell naming rights to city-owned and operated facilities only, and places restrictions on who can be named a sponsor of certain facilities.

New sponsorship and advertising manager Janine Taylor told council Tuesday tobacco companies are not allowed to buy sponsorships in the city, but in some cases a company that produces alcohol is.

She cited an example of areas of the Kelowna airport that could be suitable to be sponsored by a winery, but a facility like the Parkinson Recreation Centre, would not.

Sponsorship and naming rights will be sold with the users of the facility in mind, she said.

“We’ll make sure we’re not over-commercializing or detracting from their enjoyment (of the facility),” Taylor told council.

Money raised from the sale of sponsorships and naming will go to the enhancement of the facility in question or the services it provides.

The final say on whose name gets used or what sponsorship is approved will rest with city council. City-owned facilities that are operated by another party will not be part of the new program.

The city already has several existing policies related to sponsorship and advertising, including:

• Commemorative recognition in city parks

• The city’s park naming policy

• The naming of Kelowna awards in memory of individuals

• Charitable donations and gifts to the city

• The city’s civic community facilities naming policy

Taylor said during the first year of the new sponsorship and advertising program, those policies will be reviewed and updated for consistency.

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