AHOSKIE – Sponsorships of parks and recreational facilities owned and operated by the Town of Ahoskie will be allowed.
In a unanimous vote, the Ahoskie Town Council approved a Sponsorship Policy during their monthly meeting on July 12. A draft policy was first reviewed by the Council at their April meeting; a few changes were made following that initial presentation.
“There were some questions, some clarifications on the naming rights of town-owned property,” said Town Manager Tony Hammond. “There were questions of the size, location and cost of the signage. We looked at what other municipalities were doing in regards to allowing for sponsorship opportunities from where we borrowed their ideas to address the size, type and location questions.”
Once Hammond and Ahoskie Recreation Director Tina Pritchard tweaked the sponsorship policy, it went back to the town’s Parks and Recreation Committee where it gained approval and was forwarded to the Town Council for their consideration.
The sponsorship opportunities are two-fold. One is for advertising signs placed along the outfield fences (all facing home plate) at the three new baseball/softball fields at the Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex as well as at Dennis Everett Field, a town-owned ballpark on the campus of Hertford County High School. The other opportunity involves naming rights of either the entire Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex or individual facilities there.
For the outfield advertising signs, the cost is $300 (plus printing) for the first year with an annual renewal rate of $250. Those vinyl signs will be 3’ x 6’ in size with three-inch (or larger) text in Copperplate Gothic Bold. The terms of the agreement are from April 1 through March 31. The signs may be removed and stored after each baseball/softball season to prevent wear and tear.
There are several naming rights opportunities at the Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex. Most all encompass a five-year contract with annual payments or a five percent discount if paid in full at the time of the contractual agreement. Those opportunities are as follows:
Naming the entire Recreation Complex for $55,000. The signage will be similar to what is already in place at the complex and will be located between Memorial Drive and Camlin Street on the west side of Lakeview Drive.
The three new baseball/softball fields can be named for $35,000 each. A 3’ x 6’ sign will be erected on the back stop fence above the scoreboard table.
The Ahoskie Creek Amphitheater as well as the Edgewood Circle Soccer Field can bear naming rights for $25,000 each with signage on a 3’ x 6’ post.
Picnic shelters (two) are available for sponsorship at $15,000 each. The signs will be an 18-inch by 15-inch engraved nameplate mounted on the shelter.
For a $10,000 contract, a business or individual can name either the walking trail or playgrounds (two) at the complex. The walking trail sign will be a 12-inch by 18-inch post and panel; the playgrounds will named on a 3’ x 6’ post and panel.
The six dugouts at the ballparks can be named for $5,000 each. It will consist of a 2’ x 4’ aluminum sign placed on the dugout fence.
Other sponsorship opportunities include park benches (a two-year contract for $250 per year to consist of an engraved nameplate on the bench) and memorial trees ($250 for a 4-inch by 10-inch engraved nameplate at the base of the tree).
Hammond stressed that the Town of Ahoskie recognizes public trust and perception of its impartiality may be damaged by sponsorships that are aesthetically displeasing, politically oriented or offensive to segments of its citizenry. With that in mind, he noted that the town maintains its sponsorship program as a nonpublic forum and exercises sole discretion over who is eligible to become a sponsor according to the terms of the policy approved by the Town Council, to include full editorial control over the placement, content, appearance and wording of sponsorship affiliations and messages.
The money generated by the sponsorships will be earmarked for upkeep and maintenance of the recreational facilities.