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Split Decision

by Olivia Rutt and Jaime Myslik

Selling naming rights for public facilities

Don't sell out

Centre Wellington is looking for corporations to buy into the municipality’s assets through naming rights. At the moment, there has been no mention of what buildings could be included in this move.

While the sponsorship program can bring in much-needed cash, there’s another side to it. Let’s call it what it is: advertising for companies. And it’s advertising that lasts for years or, if the name sticks, sometimes generations. Think of the free public relations the company gets every time the full name of the arena is mentioned in a news article or event promotion.

What’s to stop council from opening sponsorship to anything from arenas to garbage cans? I’m not far out here; Sponsor Winnipeg is a program that offers naming rights to almost anything. And once it is open, is council now in the pockets of those corporations?

If Nestlé Waters sponsors the Elora arena, does it get to choose what is sold in the concession booth (aka Nestlé products)?

The mix of public and private sectors tends to leave a bad taste in the mouth. If the private corporation comes into disrepute, what happens to the arena that is emblazoned with the name?

There are just too many questions left unanswered. Don’t sell out..

– Olivia


‘What’s in a name?’

Centre Wellington is entering the major leagues ... corporations are being given the opportunity to enter into sponsorship agreements to name municipal facilities.

While newer for our local municipality, corporate sponsorships are a way of life. Look at the SkyDome turned Roger’s Centre or Molson Amphitheatre turned Budweiser Stage in Toronto. They are iconic venues renamed for sponsorships.

As William Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” 

The important thing is those recognizable and significant buildings are still being enjoyed.

If corporate sponsorships can help restore, maintain or bring new facilities to Centre Wellington, what’s the harm?

It’s a way for taxpayers to see fancy upgrades and feel pride for their community without ever seeing a tax increase. The icing on the cake would be seeing local businesses offering to fulfill these corporate sponsorships.

Royal Distributing donated $250,000 for the lifetime naming rights of the Royal Distributing Athletic Performance Centre in neighbouring Guelph-Eramosa ... who’s going to be the corporate hero of Centre Wellington? 

– Jaime

Vol 50 Issue 05


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