Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published on Tuesday, Dec.19, 2023, at 1:05 p.m. For most recently updated information, please see bottom of article.
With “Slush Puppie Place” being considered as the new name for the Leon’s Centre in Kingston, could a new and interesting moniker be on the horizon for Napanee’s Strathcona Paper Centre, as well?
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, the Council of the Town of Greater Napanee will receive for information a Recreation Centre Naming Rights Draft Agreement and provide direction to staff on how to proceed.
On April 10, 2003, the Town signed a facility naming rights agreement with Roman Corporation Limited for the naming of the recreation centre located at 16 McPherson Drive, Napanee — currently the Strathcona Paper Centre (SPC). Strathcona Paper, a division of Roman Corporation Limited, has been making recycled paperboard on the banks of the Napanee River since the early twentieth century.
According to the report by Annie Manion and Brandt Zätterberg of Community and Corporate Services for the Town of Greater Napanee, the term of the agreement was 10 years and commenced on September 1, 2004. On September 1, 2014, the agreement was renewed for a further 10 years. The value of the naming rights has been $20,000 per year since 2004.
Now, the staff report states, the naming rights agreement will expire on August 31, 2024.
According to the report, staff have identified the need for an agreement to clearly define how proposals for naming rights are received, evaluated, and awarded. The goal of this agreement and the draft Donations and Sponsorships Policy are:
- to ensure that no person receives an unfair advantage in accessing sponsorship opportunities in public facilities;
- to ensure that the Town can maximize alternative revenue sources in support of programs and facilities;
- to ensure that all donations and advertising comply with applicable laws and regulations;
- to differentiate between donations, which are eligible for charitable income tax receipts, and sponsorships, which are not; and to ensure that sponsorships and donations are providing a net positive to the community over the life of the project and that future costs and liabilities to the Town are being considered before the acceptance of any sponsorship or donation proposal.
The presentation of the draft agreement allows Council to consider alternative options and implications. They may direct that the agreement be adopted as presented, or they may propose additional or alternative language to be included in the draft agreement. They could also direct staff to do additional review prior to adopting the draft agreement.
Some advantages to obtaining the naming rights are described in the draft agreement. For example, the recreation centre is located adjacent to nationally branded hotels and restaurants. Many different user groups — minor hockey, junior hockey, skating clubs, soccer teams, seniors’ groups, and more — attend the arena throughout the year, bringing considerable marketing exposure, and a variety of events throughout the year have boasted diverse audiences. In each of the last two years, foot traffic at the SPC has been over 150,000, and with the centre being adjacent to Highway 401, the average daytime vehicle traffic is 40,000, according to 2016 statistics.
The draft agreement states that a “Request for Proposals for [Town of Greater Napanee] Recreation Centre Naming Rights” will be made. Proposals will be received at the front reception desk until 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on March 1, 2024.
The Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 meeting of Council can be watched live (or viewed later) on the Town of Greater Napanee YouTube channel or attended in person at Greater Napanee’s historic Town Hall, 124 John Street. Agendas and other meeting documents can be viewed on the Town’s CivicWeb portal.
Update (Thursday, Dec. 21. 2023, at 4:03 p.m.):
On Tuesday, Dec. 19, the Council of the Town of Greater Napanee received the Recreation Centre Naming Rights Draft Agreement, and, with little discussion, directed Town staff to issue an RFP for the naming rights with a minimum bid of $30,000 per year.