Saanich’s Commonwealth Place Pool is among local recreation facilities where a new policy paves the path towards more commercial advertising. Black Press file photo

Saanich makes play for more advertising cash

New advertising policy in effect at Saanich recreation centres

A new advertising policy in local recreation centres has yet to produce any new revenues, but Saanich officials are nonetheless hopeful it will benefit the public.

“We are not really expecting a huge [financial] impact,” said Kelli-Ann Armstrong, Saanich’s senior manager of recreation. This said, it is still early, and the change will make it easier for the public to find these services. “It means they could be more obvious in our buildings,” she said.

Council last October rescinded a policy that prevented health service providers operating out of local recreation centres from advertising in those facilities beyond whatever signage they needed to announce their physical presence. Under the new policy, these companies can now expand their advertising in local recreation centres.

Public spaces now available for advertising include plasma screens and scoreboards, community bulletin boards, arena boards, building banners, signage within the building, sandwich boards, road signs, as well as Saanich’s Active Living Guide and promotional material.

Five companies currently offer services out of local recreation facilities and none has so far asked to purchase additional signage space.

Saanich charges market rates for both advertising and rental space.

If companies contracting with Saanich were to ask for additional signage, local centre managers would have to approve the advertisement prior to its public appearance, said Armstrong. When council rescinded this restriction, it had heard from staff that the change may result in additional revenue for Saanich.

Armstrong said Saanich receives between $100,000 and $230,000 in estimated annual revenues from renting out space to health providers. The range reflects different types of arrangements with different types of providers, she said. Some pay a set rate, while others have signed revenue-sharing agreements with Saanich. “The busier they are, the more we receive,” she said.

Council also heard that the new policy would allow Saanich to reach more residents, as contracting partners promote healthy lifestyles in partnership with the district.

Saanich introduced advertising restrictions in 1999, when the delivery of health services through the recreation centres was an “untried venture,” according to Suzanne Samborski, director of parks and recreation, in a memo to council. Specifically, the policy responded to concerns that providers advertising in recreation centres would receive an unfair advantage by being closer to potential customers.

Fast forward two decades. “In 2017, there no longer appears to be a significant advantage or concern about market advantage by health partnerships who operate in a Saanich facility,” said Samborski.

This assessment rests on what Samborski has called a “limited response” to Saanich’s “open and transparent tender process that has allowed all interested parties to bid competitively on all levels of health service provision within the centres.” Businesses, which offer similar services, also continue to thrive, even those within a single block of a Saanich community centre, she added.

Samborski said the public expects to access health services within their community recreation centres, an expectation she predicts will increase. This expectation in turn could lead to further changes.

“In the future, the district will be able to leverage its long-term partnerships with health service providers and Island Health to expand health service offerings that support and promote lifelong health and activity,” she said.

Just Posted

Neighbour details hearing ‘thuds’ the day girls found dead in Oak Bay

Jury at double-murder trial hears from Andrew Berry’s neighbour

Oak Bay’s Logie Lea house designated heritage

Owner will age in place in new lot on Linkleas

Repatriation efforts work to heal and connect through history: Royal BC Museum

Victoria museum’s efforts bolstered by B.C. repatriation grant

Big Lonely Doug among largest old-growth trees now on protection list

B.C. to protect 54 old-growth trees, but critics say it’s not enough

Family to recreate Tod House photo 119 years later

Reunion features 64 descendants of 1890s Oak Bay home

VIDEO: Sparrows raise their chicks in Cadboro Bay deck planter

Jill Yoneda captured 11 days up close with tiny Junco sparrows

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read