|In Spring 2019, the City Council directed Recreation and Community Services (RCS) to work with the Recreation and Community Services Commission to conduct public outreach to solicit names for the new park at Lexington Drive and Cerritos Avenue. RCS solicited suggestions at special events including the Egg Hunt, Concerts on the Green, and Cypress Festival and through the website and social media.
The RCS Commission reviewed 183 suggestions at its September 2019 meeting and recommended “Cypress Sports Park” and three other names (Cypress Park, Lexington Park and Thoroughbred Park) to the City Council. The Commission also recommended the City Council explore a naming rights partnership for the park. A naming rights partnership is a financial transaction and form of advertising whereby a partner purchases the right to name a facility for a defined period of time.
After considering the RCS Commission recommendation, the City Council directed RCS to explore a naming rights partnership. Research revealed the majority of naming rights partnerships for sports facilities are for complexes much larger than Cypress' new park. Partnerships typically involve at least 100 acres and feature dozens of fields, gymnasiums, tennis courts, and other facilities. Cypress' new park includes two athletic fields, playground and exercise equipment, picnic pavilions, and a walking path on nine acres.
Naming rights partnerships are also commonly associated with large university and professional sports teams that attract large numbers of spectators and fans. Organizations interested in pursuing a naming rights partnership typically request information on the annual number of participants, spectators, and patrons prior to purchasing naming rights. Attendance numbers for Cypress' new park will not be available until the first full year of operations and, given the absence of a nearby, comparable facility RCS cannot accurately estimate usage.
The City Council is considering a separate recommendation at its October 26 meeting to award the park construction contract, which includes signage with the park's name on it. It is recomnded the City Council name the park ahead of a naimg rights partnership to enable construction and sign fabrication proceed, and recognizing the challenges of securing a naming rights partnership before the park is operating and the inevitable chilling effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on potential partners.
The City Council’s Strategic Plan includes an objective to develop a park community partnership and naming rights program. The program will guide RCS efforts to solicit partnerships that incorporate the park name. Selecting a name for the park that lends itself to attracting a naming rights partner in the future will support this initiative. Examples include Cypress Sports Park presented by Partner; Partner Fields at Cypress Park; Lexington Park - Partner Fields.