Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Plano close to sponsorship deal with Texas Health Plano
The potential to have a branding presence at the city's recreation centers interested the hospital.
The Plano City Council is close to approving the first of what it hopes are five corporate sponsorships which would provide needed money to the city's budget.
The deal with Texas Health Plano was brokered by CSL Marketing, a local firm which has been tasked with finding donors willing to partner with the city. The sponsorship would be worth $1 million over its five-year lifespan, with the city receiving annual payments of $200,000. The agreement would give the hospital exclusive recognition at the city's four recreation centers and could be approved by the council as early as Monday night.
Brad Alberts, CSL's senior vice president of sales and marketing, said he feels good about the potential partnership with the hospital.
"It is a very solid first one to get out of the gate," he said. "This is a very good solid partner for Plano, a group that knows the city very well and is very excited to launch this program and be a conduit to helping us bring other companies to the table."
Alberts said the potential to have a branding presence at the city's recreation centers interested the hospital due to its focus on health and wellness.
The logo of Texas Health Plano will appear on the monument signs outside of all four of the recreation centers, and logos will also be spaced throughout the facilities including places such as running tracks and interior walls.
While the council seemed receptive to most of the ideas presented by Alberts, two areas of concern were raised -- the number of logos on the track and the potential of placing the hospital's logo on the shirts of recreation center employees.
Alberts said the logos on the track would likely be placed every 25 to 50 yards on the walking track, a frequency that Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Lissa Smith and councilwoman André Davidson felt was too high.
"If they are going to start they are going to finish," she said. "If they see it at the beginning they are going to see it at the end. I'm not sure they need to see it four times in between."
Multiple council members had concerns about the T-shirts, which would be purchased with a portion of the annual payments. Pat Gallagher said he didn't like the idea of the employees being branded, and Pat Miner said the idea really bothered him. Alberts said he would take the concerns back to the hospital and didn't feel like the T-shirt sponsorship was a "deal breaker."
City Manager Bruce Glasscock admitted that members of his staff were also uneasy about the T-shirts, but told the council they needed to remember this was a partnership where both sides expect to benefit.
"It is a two-way street," he told the council. "They are committing a million dollars over five years, and there is an expectation on their part that they get some recognition for that, so we are trying to balance that out."
In addition to the financial contribution, Alberts said the hospital will also be providing monthly health screenings where Plano residents can get their blood pressure checked and receive information about skin cancer and other diseases free of charge.
Councilman Jim Duggan asked if the exclusivity agreement with Texas Health Plano meant city facilities would not be opened to other hospitals, such as Baylor Plano, for free health screenings or blood drives. Alberts said this shouldn't be a problem, but the city should reach out to its partner first when these issues come up.
With the recreation centers taken, some members of the council wondered if there were still enough attractive sponsorship opportunities in the city to get four additional $1 million partners. Alberts said there definitely was, mentioning Arbor Hills Nature Preserve as one area that has drawn interest.
"We have plenty of inventory to be able to accomplish the goals of this program," Alberts said. "That is the least of my worries."
Each partner agreement must be signed off on by the city council. While no additional potential partners have been mentioned by name, Alberts said conversations are ongoing with another corporation that is interested in sponsoring city parks such as Oak Point and Russell Creek.
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