Kal Tire says naming partnership 'exceeds expectations' - Wesbild wasn't so happy

Happy with exposure

As Vernon non-profits voice concern over the cost of renting out Kal Tire Place and other city venues, the building's namesake says it's happy with the exposure it has received from the facility.

Vernon-based international tire company Kal Tire took over naming rights of the arena in 2013.

Greg Waring, vice-president of marketing for Kal Tire, says the building has “exceeded our expectations” in every aspect. The brand renewed its naming rights in 2017 for 10 more years and extended that to include Kal Tire Place North.

“While the brand exposure has been awesome, the relationship is especially meaningful in our hometown where we were founded and continue to operate our home office for our global operations,” said Waring.

“The inclusion of Kal Tire Place North has allowed so many more residents of the north Okanagan to enjoy the benefits of this amazing facility.”

That praise comes as organizations including the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce suggest that the building could attract more concerts and other events if its rates were lower.

The Vernon Winter Carnival Society says it lost $14,000 staging the Reklaws concert at Kal Tire Place in February. The society says it paid the City of Vernon $27,000 in various fees associated with the venue rental for the concert.

Prior to Kal Tire, the building's naming rights were held by Wesbild, the parent company to Predator Ridge Resort.

According to a Castanet article from 2013, Westbild had expressed concerns “over both a lack of marketing of the facility and a lack of events.”

Brad Pelletier, Predator's vice-president, says he wasn’t involved in the original agreement, but he doesn’t think the building should have been named after Wesbild. He says naming it after Predator Ridge would have brought more recognition.

Pelletier says it's the programming in buildings that create value for branding partners.

“The way they are measured by entitlement partners is the amount of activation within these buildings. Do they have an anchor tenant like the Canucks … and then how many ancillary events do they fill the venue with? Because that's where they get most of their value.”

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