Yesterday I attended the official launch of the Jack May Chevrolet Buick GMC Naming Rights for two arena ice pads at the Walter Baker Recreation Complex in Ottawa. My firm brokered the sponsorship as part of a five-year contract we have with the City of Ottawa to generate revenue through sponsorship, naming rights and advertising revenue.
What struck me the most at the event was the atmosphere that surrounded the official launch. It was fun, jovial and everyone in the room was obviously very pleased with the arrangement. This naming rights agreement was the perfect example of how public acceptability for corporate sponsorship can be positively influenced when the sponsor has strong community roots. In this case, Jack May has been a part of the community for over 45 years and so, their sponsorship of an important community asset is viewed as a good thing for both the dealership and the community.
This is a good lesson for municipalities that are reluctant to enter into naming rights agreements for fear of public backlash. Simply stated, if the “fit” makes sense, there will likely be a high level of acceptance for the partnership. I’ll be talking more about this and other naming rights strategies at the upcoming Municipal Forum on Sponsorship on October 15th at the Grand Hotel in Toronto as well as my Designing and Selling Your Sponsorship Program workshops in Toronto (November 14-15) and Ottawa (December 4-5).
Mayor, Councillors, Jack May President and happy hockey players at the Official Launch of the Jack May Chevrolet Buick GMC Arenas.