KNIGHTDALE — Town leaders hope both Knightdale and local businesses can benefit from sponsorships at the forthcoming park without making it “look like a NASCAR race,” as one councilman put it.
In July, Knightdale is scheduled to open a 70-acre park on First Avenue, known as Knightdale Station. Sponsorship opportunities could be as vast and varied the park’s features, which include a playground, athletic fields, picnic shelters, and trails, among other things.
So on Wednesday, Knightdale town leaders aim to define what subtle, but effective sponsorship marketing could look like in what’s expected to be one of the town’s main attractions. Knightdale Town Council is scheduled to hold a public meeting with three citizen-staff committees.
“We don’t really have a feel yet for how people feel about park sponsorships,” Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen said. “It will be interesting to see what ideas they have.”
Phase one – the part that opens in July – is already paid for. Phase two will be paid for in part by the $3 million bond referendum passed by voters in November. Phase two is expected to cost more than $4 million, so sponsorship revenues could be useful.
Take the athletic fields, for example. Knightdale could contract with a long-term sponsor of the fields, or it could erect a sign at the fields that rotates sponsors on a monthly basis, Killen said.
“If done right, it could be tasteful,” Killen said.
Knightdale hasn’t researched how much the town could earn from selling sponsorships, or even how much the the business community would be interested in it, Killen said.
Knightdale Town Councilman Dustin Tripp sits on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, which will be part of Wednesday’s meeting. Tripp says several businesses have inquired about sponsorship opportunities. Tripp and Killen say they’re open to allowing businesses to sponsor shelters trails, or the athletic fields.
“But we don’t want it to look like a NASCAR race,” Tripp said, referring to the abundance of corporate sponsors on racing cars.
Killen said the Wednesday meeting would be the first of several convened to discuss park sponsorships.
“We’re going to be very, very careful and thoughtful because this is Knightdale’s centerpiece park,” Killen said. “You want to preserve the fundamental character of it.”