Canmore Town Council Endorses Naming Rights Opportunities

As reported by Dave Husdal in the Canmore Leader, Canmore politicians signaled their willingness to put corporate names on the $39 million Elevation Place complex, all in pursuit of generating some cash flow for the facility. They did so by endorsing an inventory valuation summary of assets for the complex, and directing town administration to work with a sponsorship consultant to achieve maximum revenue for Elevation Place through what was deemed “marketing of all assets.” The new town landmark is expected to open in late fall, with a new public library, aquatic centre and climbing wall among its many offerings.

While corporate names aren’t likely to be prominent on opening day, council’s vote on Tuesday means that Elevation Place could theoretically become RBC Elevation Place, or perhaps even PricewaterhouseCoopers Elevation Place. It also means that venues within the Railway Avenue community centre, such as the new pool/aquatic centre, could also have corporate names — perhaps the MasterCard Pool, even for those who might not want to think about drowning in consumer debt. And of course the best way to avoid drowning in debt is to pay it off, or avoid losing money. With perhaps that in mind, council voted unanimously to have administration and a consultant chase offers and deals.

The inventory valuation summary for the new facility has identified almost $662,000 in “assets” that could be sold at Elevation Place in a given year. That same summary, prepared by Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™, says only about 33 per cent of assets, or “inventory benefits” in similar facilities are typically sold. That said, Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™ believes the new Canmore gathering place has more potential, and should annually generate over 55 per cent of its valued inventory within three years. Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™ works with a variety of organizations on sponsorships, from municipalities and post-secondary institutions to sports facility operators and arts and entertainment venues.

That would mean cash flow of about $364,000 annually, less whatever is spent to actually chase sponsors and paid to a consultant to generate deals — typically in the 10 to 15 per cent range, but up to 35 per cent. The assets deemed to be of greatest value in the valuation were the name of the facility itself, the climbing wall and the pool. Public libraries don’t typically incorporate name sponsors. Financial industry businesses are key investors in facility sponsorships, looking for assets that reach their target audiences and build on a company’s reputation.

According to Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™, the town’s new multi-purpose building has loads of potential when it comes to bagging sponsorship to reduce net operating costs. “There is a significant quantity of unique and very marketable inventory items for Elevation Place,” says Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists’ inventory analysis report. “It is obviously going to be a centerpiece for the town. The inventory elements are substantive, and while there may be corporate suitors who will want to be part of the experience, the process of courting and closing sales partnerships can be lengthy and time consuming.”

It can also be politically influenced, given that Canmore council will still have the final say under its sponsorship policy on any sponsorship deals that are for more than $50,000, or for any naming rights. The sale of sponsorships by the town would change the current arrangement with the Riptides and Coho swim clubs that allows them to sell advertising in the current pool, said Sally Caudill, the town’s communications manager, but not totally prevent them from displaying sponsor names or selling sponsorships. Caudill also said the Canmore Public Library and the Canmore Arts Guild have legitimate concerns about sponsorships for their facilities, and the town would continue to work with them to discuss what arrangements would be suitable for them. Council also voted to review the existing sponsorship policy prior to any Elevation Place sponsorship agreements being signed.


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