City basketball court may bear corporate logo

City basketball court may bear corporate logo

Michele Ellson


A Bay Farm Island basketball court is in line to become the first piece of city property to sport a corporate logo.

The City Council will consider a proposal Tuesday to allow athletic clothing maker Under Armour to affix its logo and the signature of popular Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry to a Leydecker Park basketball court in exchange for $100,000 to refurbish the court.

“This fully funds a rehabilitation for a public basketball court that is lighted and is a much used amenity by youth and adults,” parks director Amy Wooldridge said in response to questions emailed by a reporter.

Wooldridge said the city has little money to maintain Alameda’s dozens of parks and facilities; just one percent of the city’s capital improvement budget, or $664,000, has been allocated for parks projects over the next two years, and the city’s parks have $24.5 million in needs for which there is no funding. Grants aren’t available for the kind of work Under Armour’s money will buy.

“Corporate funding is one of the many tools that we have to maintain and construct parks to the high standards expected in our community,” Wooldridge said.

The city connected with Under Armour through a local Realtor, Mario Mariani. The company, which has partnered with Curry on basketball clinics and an ad filmed at the St. Joseph Notre Dame High School gym, has agreed to fund the rehabilitation project through its corporate giving program.

If approved, city staffers anticipate celebrating the completion of the work in June, a report to the council for Tuesday’s meeting says.

The purpose of the city’s naming policy, updated in 2007, is to honor local people, places and historical events, it says. “This process acknowledges and memorializes a specific person or event and enhances the value and heritage of the city,” the policy says.

Criteria the city considers when choosing names include whether a name reflects the location of a facility; its history, including who built it or donated the land; if the person made a significant contribution to the community, as a former council member, city officer or community member; whether the person is the donor of “a significant gift of land or funds for a city facility”; and whether the name is on the city’s list of potential street and facility names.

Mayor Marie Gilmore and Councilwoman Lena Tam voted in favor of the policy, records show. Wooldridge said she and Gilmore met with Under Armour and determined that the project had merit.

Wooldridge said her department has been working for the past two years to address parks’ maintenance needs, renovating a ball field at Woodstock Park and inking a $1.9 million deal with the school district to fix up the Encinal High School swim center. The city is also working to redevelop Estuary Park and build the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park on the former rail yard for the Alameda Belt Line.
Earlier park fixes were funded with Measure WW regional parks bond money.

The school district has also partnered with outside entities on upgrades to its facilities. The Warriors refurbished a court at Henry Haight Elementary School, which now bears co-owner Joe Lacob’s name.

The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue. The council is not scheduled to debate the proposal, but to consider approving it on a voice vote.

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Submitted by C. (not verified) on Tue, May 6, 2014

Why don't we have enough money to maintain our public parks? Oh yeah,right- because corporations and the rich park their money off-shore to avoid paying taxes. Rather sad that the one place kids should be able to get away from relentless advertising urging them to become uber consumers has to be sold to the highest bidder. I hope if the City Council succumbs to this plan there will be guidelines about what kind of advertising can go on public property. It is a slipperly slope.

Submitted by Joseph (not verified) on Tue, May 6, 2014

Why can't we slap logos right on our schools so we can finally overcome the chronic underfunding Don Perata allowed to happen when the NAS closed?

Submitted by Ken Harrison (not verified) on Tue, May 6, 2014

Don't blame Perata for the closure of NAS Alameda or the underfunding that followed that pleasant event. But DO blame Perata and his colleagues and minions for the debacle which is the funding of the Coliseum complex, for which the taxpayers of Alameda County are still on the hook for millions of dollars. Government money for sports facilities owned privately is shameful. And blame Proposition 13, which ultimately stuck it to the average homeowner while letting corporations off the hook.

Submitted by George (not verified) on Wed, May 7, 2014

Can't Under Armour just give the money without having to slap their logo on it? Just do it because they're a good "corporate citizen?"

Or why not have community basketball tournament fundraisers or bake sales or something like that?

Submitted by Ken (not verified) on Fri, May 9, 2014

I think it's a terrific idea. I'm surprised we can't get other pro teams and their sponsor companies (like the Raiders, hint hint) to help the community with park facility upgrades and maintenance. I'm sure there are deals (hopefully legal) that can be worked out.

Submitted by Darryl (not verified) on Sun, May 11, 2014

I'm all for corporate logos and sponsorship. How about Larry Flynt's Hustler Magazine, Playboy, or Penthouse? Or Sin City and Vivid Video? Lets not forget Viagra.