The Keystone Centre is going from “the centre of it all” to being a “community at heart.”
The sprawling agricultural, sports and event facility announced its new tag line in a press release Friday, while also announcing that it would consider the sale of new naming rights for certain rooms.
Up for new names will be the Kinsmen and Optimist arenas, the convention hall, the Canada Room and the amphitheatre. A special reception for Westman-area businesses will be held on Thursday to introduce them to the sponsorship program. Proposals will be accepted until May 14.
“We’ve identified a group of similarly community-minded organizations with whom we think partnership would be mutually beneficial,” said Keystone general manager Neil Thomson. “We sent invitations to companies who have a strong, secure reputation in our community, who we thought would have similar target markets to the audiences these rooms and arenas attract.”
Thomson said that if there were any companies that were missed in this selection process, they’d still be welcome to submit a proposal.
Tim Hore, chair of the Keystone Centre’s board of directors, said this strategy would bring in additional revenue to the centre as well as recognize the contributions of businesses in the community.
“There’s opportunities for the business community around Westman and certainly around Brandon to get their name out and support the facility that’s certainly integral to the community and the Westman region,” he said.
“We’ve got some great funding partners with the city and the province and any added revenue in terms of contribution to operational expenses is a bonus for a centre like the Keystone.”
Previously, the Keystone had already sold naming rights to its main arena — now Westman Communications Group Place — and to its agricultural centre — now the Westoba Credit Union Agricultural Centre of Excellence.
The new sponsorships are expected to help defray some of the centre’s funding needs.
“It was time,” Thomson said. “We have chosen to open these opportunities to the community at this time for two reasons; we were not able to secure the amount of funding we require from government partners and with a 40-year-old building and 1.5 million visitors at our facility every year, and the $62 million economic impact we generate for the city, we needed to come up with some alternative funding avenues to ensure our continued ability to serve our community.”
He also said that the new tag line for the Keystone, officially styled with an at symbol, will be “Community @ Heart” and that it was designed to showcase the centre’s community roots and connection with people and local businesses. Keystone staff came up with the tag line, but they used a local graphics and printing company to design it.
“Our significance in the community is something we really wanted to highlight,” Thomson said. “The tag line fits and we feel it is more relevant to the Keystone Centre’s presence today.”
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