Surrey mulls selling off naming rights for cash
Staff at Surrey City Hall are trying to figure out how to use the city's growth as a way to attract corporate sponsorship dollars through naming-rights deals. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
Surrey City Hall is trying to leverage some corporate cash from its buildings by selling off naming rights for sponsorship dollars that could reach the hundreds of thousands each year.
According to city spokesman Darryl McCarron, Surrey’s current sponsorship policy hasn’t been updated since the late 1990s, when the south Fraser municipality’s growth still wasn’t at a level marketable to corporate sponsors for naming deals.
But that’s all changed now as the city is in the midst of a growth spurt. The issue currently is how to formalize a “framework” that would link sponsors with capital projects.
“For example, we’re looking at a pilot project with South Surrey Recreation Centre to look at naming rights within the expanded art space (inside),” McCarron said.
Coun. Linda Hepner said the pilot would be an example of “small potatoes” sponsorship. She said traditional naming rights to public facilities were handed out to philanthropists or for commemorative reasons.
If leveraged properly, however, the city’s coffers could be enriched by millions of dollars over years of construction.
“Over a single year, for instance, my guess is more in the hundreds of thousands,” Hepner said.
Much of this would depend on whether there’s an appetite in the community for this kind of initiative.
“It’s more of a question of making sure we’re prudent in exploring all of our opportunities,” she said.