May 2, 2018 5:02 pm
Updated: May 3, 2018 2:53 pm

Naming rights on downtown Edmonton convention centre up for grabs

WATCH ABOVE: The Shaw Conference Centre may soon have a new name. Shaw has had the naming rights for the building for last 20 years but that contract comes to an end on Dec. 31. What impact do naming rights have? University of Alberta school of retailing director John Pracejus weighs in.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The original article stated that Shaw Communications Inc. paid $5.5 million every year for 20 years for the naming rights to the convention centre. The Shaw Conference Centre later clarified that the company paid $5.5 million over the 20-year contract.

The convention centre in downtown Edmonton may soon have a new name.

The current naming rights on the facility, which has been the Shaw Conference Centre for the past 20 years, will expire Dec. 31, 2018.

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A request for proposals (RFP) was posted on April 23 and will close May 25.

READ MORE: Rogers snaps up naming rights to Edmonton’s downtown arena

Imran Gill, marketing manager for the Shaw Conference Centre, said the successful vendor will be selected in early September.

In the RFP posted by the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, the facility is touted as a “premier business, convention and social facility.”

The “sponsorship opportunity will showcase your organization to the community and create long-term visibility for your brand locally, provincially, nationally and internationally,” reads the RFP.

The previous contract was a 20-year term. Gill said there are no terms on the deal right now, though the RFP states the contract would run 10 years.

“Ideally we’re looking at a 10-year deal at a minimum because that’s pretty much in line with convention centres and naming rights deals across North America,” he said.

Gill said Shaw Communications Inc. paid $5.5 million over 20 years as part of its contract; he said the company could re-submit a proposal if it wished. Global News reached out to Shaw Communications Inc. for a comment but did not receive a response.

RELATED: Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium field gets name change

The centre hosts approximately 650 events, including conventions, concerts and weddings, as well as 500,000 regional, national and international guests every year, according to the RFP.

The name, which is subject to city approval, will be the exclusive name of the convention centre in all official references, which includes signage, marketing materials and branding on menus, letterhead and uniforms.

“Obviously all the signage, anything with the Shaw name would need to change,” Gill said.

“What we like to say is this is a huge opportunity for an organization to really align itself with one of Canada’s top performing convention centres.”

When asked whether he expects the proposals to be comparable to Shaw’s 20-year deal, Gill said he could not speculate on what the dollar amount may be for the winning vendor though he said times have changed.

“What we can say is the Edmonton market has grown considerably since 1997. We’re a vibrant young city. We’re in definitely a different place as a city than we were in 1997.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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