Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published April 11, 2011

Council President Considers Corporate Sponsorships to Help Preserve Endangered City Programs and Services

Resolution calls for a comprehensive approach to evaluating city’s assets and leveraging them for maximum benefit

BALTIMORE, MD – Today City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young will introduce legislation (Council bill11-0274R) to explore the feasibility of leveraging the city’s assets, like vehicles, real estate and ball fields, to raise much-needed revenue through corporate sponsorships.

Council President Young’s resolution – Corporate Sponsorship of City Assets – would call for a public hearing to investigate the fragmented approach city agencies currently take with regard to corporate sponsorships, determine if sponsorship of city assets can legally be sold, and discuss which assets could best be bundled for sponsorship.

“With Baltimore continuing to face multi-million dollar budget deficits year after year, more needs to be done to grow our revenue base,” Council President Young said. “That growth should not involve raising taxes and fees – which in some instances are already too high – on our cash-strapped citizens.”

Dr. Bill Sutton, associate director and professor of the University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sport Business Management program, predicted that a host of companies would jump at the opportunity to market their products to Baltimoreans and support important social programs, like recreation and education, through corporate sponsorships.

“Corporate sponsorship for a city like Baltimore, with the right activation platforms, can be an excellent vehicle for engagement marketing or even re-branding,” Dr. Sutton said. “On one hand you are identified as a good citizen and supporter of cause marketing, while at the same time, because of the uniqueness of the opportunity, the publicity that could be generated from the cause marketing activities would be an excellent” return on the company’s initial investment.

Jim Kahler, who serves as executive director of the Center of Sports Administration at Ohio University, called municipal sponsorships an emerging field.

“Sponsorships in our country and across the globe are continuing to grow and become a larger part of the overall marketing mix for a wide variety of corporations,” said Mr. Kahler, who for more than a decade served as the chief marketing officer for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and was responsible for both the team and arena’s sponsorship deals. “Municipal marketing is an emerging category within sponsorships that enables cities like Baltimore to package unique assets that will not get lost in the clutter of traditional advertising.”

Council President Young’s resolution calling for corporate sponsorship of city assets will be introduced on Monday, April 11, 2011, during the City Council’s regularly-scheduled meeting.