Item 5B. Sponsorship Structure and Opportunities

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Purpose of Study Session:


The following information was prepared by Mandy Whiteside, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement.

Background Information:

There are a variety of outside funding sources that the Park District utilizes. District-wide structure and processes have long been in place for funding sources including grants, donations and fees. Staff desired to create this same level of structure and process for sponsorship, which is relatively new to Three Rivers and provides numerous opportunities as a non-tax revenue source.

In 2014, the Park District hired a Director of Advancement to build a sponsorship program. The primary focus for this position was to develop a structure and secure sponsorships related to our signature events and to explore opportunities for other initiatives.

Together with staff, the Director of Advancement laid a foundation for sponsorship at Three Rivers, and now we are prepared to build off of that foundation. With the variety of programs, amenities and facilities available across the Park District, there are numerous opportunities to expand our sponsorship approach. Conversations around projects like the development of Mississippi Gateway Regional Park have introduced opportunities to explore potential sponsorships for on-going initiatives, services and capital.

To ensure a consistent approach, staff have created a structure to guide the exploration and securing of sponsorships beyond events. This structure not only defines details related to each category, but follows the guidance laid out in the financial management plan and administrative guidelines.

The PowerPoint presentation (Reference 5B-1) lays out the different categories of sponsorship that exist at Three Rivers.

  • Events – Gatherings with specific dates and times
  • Initiatives and Services – Programmatic elements not tied to a specific date or time
  • Capital – Physical facilities and amenities.

Within each category, details are provided related to the sponsor motivations and expectations, implementation, key contacts and board engagement.

Staff recognizes that each sponsorship opportunity will be unique, but this structure will provide necessary governance to keep consistency between opportunities and allow staff across the Park District to have clear direction and boundaries related to sponsorship.

Current Event Sponsorship Status:

Over the past seven years, we have developed our event sponsorship program and have secured sponsorships for signature races and key program center events. Staff has a process in place for soliciting, securing and featuring sponsors to enhance these events.

The 2021 budget includes $50,000 in sponsorship revenue through the signature event program. While the pandemic has had a negative impact on events and sponsorship revenue in 2020 and 2021, staff continue to work with existing sponsors to maintain relationships and is also developing new relationships. We anticipate event sponsorship revenue to return to the budgeted level in 2022.

Relationship to the System Plan

The Request for Action supports the following goals(s) of the System Plan:

  • Goal 2: Parks Matter
  • Goal 3: Lead by Example
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