The Volusia County Council has given tentative approval to an ambitious plan to sell sponsorships and naming rights to county buildings, facilities and programs.
The council voted Feb. 1 to retain an international firm, The Superlative Group, to market county facilities to businesses willing to pay for the right to put their names on assets such as buildings, parks, trails and beach ramps.
It potentially could include notable buildings such as the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach or the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center in DeLand, or much more likely, more modest assets like Gemini Springs Park in DeBary, beach accesses or Votran buses. The County Council will have final say on what will be namable.
Staff will negotiate a contract with the company for council approval. It’s unknown how much revenue the namings and sponsorships could bring in, but council members unanimously agreed that pursuing marketing income was worth the effort.
“I think it’s timely that we’re doing this,” said Council Member Barb Girtman. “We’re talking about rebranding. We’re talking about taking our area to the next level. And to me, this is a part of that.”
The county solicited responses in November from companies with expertise in full-service sponsorship and naming rights consulting. The Superlative Group, which is based in Cleveland, was the only one to respond.
The company’s first task will be to identify and place a marketing value on all of the county’s assets that have the potential to generate revenue. The county will pay the company $90,000 to perform the asset inventory and valuation, which is expected to take approximately three to four months to complete.
The next step will be to develop a strategic campaign to market the assets. Superlative’s team of sales executives, valuation analysts, attorneys and accountants will manage the entire process, from generating prospects to negotiating contracts and making sure the companies that sign on fulfill their end of the agreements.
Superlative also will get a commission on the revenue it generates. The commission rate will be determined through contract talks.
The county would retain final approval authority over naming and sponsorship decisions to ensure all deals are consistent with the county’s mission.
County Chair Jeff Brower acknowledged that some concerns were expressed when the idea was first floated, such as fears that the paid promotions might look tacky.
But he and other council members said Superlative’s presentation convinced them that the company will ensure that the deals are tasteful. And the money generated would benefit taxpayers.
“When I look at monetizing as much as we can, I look at it as, that’s money that taxpayers aren’t going to have to pay. This is money to run the county,” Brower told Superlative representatives. “I think every one of us agrees up here that you will approach this very professionally, with great respect to our community.”
— Volusia County Community Information, Gary Davidson