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City fills business sponsorship position

Officials hope to attract more event sponsors and introduce new revenue-generating concepts to SCV

Posted: December 7, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 7, 2012 2:00 a.m.
James Kneblik will fill the city’s sponsorship analyst position. James Kneblik will fill the city’s sponsorship analyst position.
James Kneblik will fill the city’s sponsorship analyst position.

The city of Santa Clarita has filled the sponsorship analyst position, left vacant in the past year, with James Kneblik.

Kneblik started last week and will work with local businesses to sponsor city events such as the annual Cowboy Festival, Amgen Tour of California, Concerts in the Park and more, said Jason Crawford, marketing and economic development manager for the city.

The support from businesses helps offset some of the event costs, and gives businesses an opportunity to be included in advertising the city does as well as get involved in the community, Crawford said.

When Santa Clarita promoted Russell Sypowicz to oversee the city’s film and tourism business, the sponsorship analyst position was frozen, Crawford said.

“We see the economy as picking up and we get requests from businesses that want to get involved with our events,” he said. “So, after a year of having the position frozen to save money, we think we’re at a place where there’s enough demand from local businesses that it was necessary to bring this position back.”

Logix Federal Credit Union, formerly Lockheed Federal Credit Union, has served as a primary event sponsor for the past six years — supporting the Cowboy Festival, and in the past, the city’s street art festival, said James Davis, vice president of sales.

“We live and breathe and do business based on our interactions with the community we serve,” Davis said. “The exposure is necessary so people recognize us as a contributing part of the community.”

But, he has also found the experience to be extremely rewarding, he said.

“The city’s been very good to work with in terms of partnership,” Davis said. “They make sure we get a good amount of exposure and make the process very easy.”

The city has other event sponsors, like the Parkway auto dealers for the marathon, Crawford said, and the city wants to work with sponsors to make sure they’re getting what they need from the sponsorships.

The city hopes that by filling the sponsorship analyst position, it can look for new ways to expand the program by offering new concepts for the city, he said. It also allows local businesses to introduce themselves to new customers.

While Kneblik will focus mainly on events, the city wants to look at other options, Crawford said. There may be opportunities to grant naming rights to buildings, a la Staples Center. Cities have sold naming rights to their building and facilities and Santa Clarita wants to see if an idea like this makes sense for the city and businesses, he said.

“We just got the Amgen Tour of California back for the spring of 2013 and will be looking for sponsors,” Crawford said.

“The city’s sponsorship program connects local businesses and residents through a variety of events and programs,” said Kneblik, administrative analyst, sponsorship.

Kneblik hopes to expand upon the partnerships already in place, as well as introduce new businesses to the opportunities offered by the city.

“It’s no question that partnering with the city is a good partnership,” Davis said. “You can’t go wrong partnering with them because they put on high quality events.”



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