The McCracken County School (MCS) board is quietly dispelling the myth that naming rights are a big city or pro sports phenomenon. In a single board meeting, the school system approved two separate naming rights agreements that will generate $72,000 of funding for McCracken County High School (MCHS) over the next five years. According to a release at the school district’s website, Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital and Edward Jones & Co. were unanimously approved as naming rights sponsors.
Lourdes Hospital is part of the Mercy Health system, a Catholic healthcare ministry with more than 34,000 employees in eight markets across Ohio and Kentucky. Per the terms of the hospital’s $50,000 sponsorship agreement, the MCHS soccer and track fields will be renamed “Mercy Health Field” at the start of the 2018 school year. Likewise, “Edward Jones Field” will be the new name of the MCHS baseball field thanks to its own $22,000 naming rights agreement. Edward Jones is a financial advisory firm that serves 7 million investors across its branch office network of over 15,000 locations.
For a county with one public high school, 7000 students and a 2010 census population of 65,565, it would be easy to assume that McCracken County, Kentucky would not be a hotbed for naming rights deals. However, the two deals announced by its school board actually pale in comparison to the 10 year, $200,000 naming rights contract that it signed to rename its basketball arena for the start of the 2013 season. Similar headlines appear daily in newspapers across the country as companies both large and small clamor for an opportunity to build awareness and promote goodwill in their communities.