At the City of Steinbach’s previous council meeting, council approved the implementation of a sponsorship policy created by city administration. 

The policy covers two main components of city operations. 

The first is facility naming rights, which is where a facility itself receives the name of the sponsor.

The second is sponsor recognition, which is advertising rights within a facility. 

City Manager Troy Warkentin says facility naming rights have not traditionally been a significant component of the City’s operations.  

“However, with the increasing popularity of this type of activity occurring in different municipalities and the opportunity of financial revenue generation being present in many communities across Canada, it was seen as a good opportunity for the City to consider.” 

As for sponsorship, the City has sold advertising rights for signage before, for example, within the Centennial and T.G. Smith rinks. 

“And to a lesser extent, at some of the other facilities like the soccer park and the baseball diamonds in Steinbach.” 

The sponsorship policy approved by council provides a general overview and framework for the City to follow, so that if there are ever any questions relating to sponsorships or naming rights for City facilities, they have a guiding document to follow. 

Councillor Michael Zwaagstra says it’s becoming increasingly common in municipalities for city assets and facilities to be open to naming rights and sponsor recognition.  

“This is a way to generate additional revenue. And as a municipality, we certainly are interested in new ways of getting revenue, because our costs continue to go up.” 

He says the policy is short and clear, and it allows the City to have full discretion in who they allow to be a sponsor.  

“It's very clear about the types of business activities and products that we will not have named after. For example, tobacco, cannabis, and harmful substances, our policy specifically excludes that.” 

Zwaagstra says this can be a helpful way of getting more revenue for the City. 

“So if there's a business that wanted to sponsor the Steinbach Aquatic Centre, considering the amount of money that the Aquatic Centre costs us every year to operate, that would be one example of a facility that would benefit greatly from additional operating funds coming in.” 

Councillor Jake Hiebert agrees this is a good way of generating additional revenue.  

“Steinbach is the third largest city in the province, and this is one of the trends in different communities where they are selling their naming rights for financial gain,” he says. “Also, we've had inquiries from the public for naming rights for different buildings, and for them to do their advertising, so I think it's appropriate at this time that the City goes along with this.” 

Mayor Earl Funk says it’s important Steinbach has this policy in place, so that they have directions on how to move forward.

“As we grow, we're going to have more and more facilities that are going to be there for the public to use, and this is a great way for businesses to generate revenue, by sponsoring a ball-diamond, or the whole park for that matter.”