Irvine Leaders Approve $5.7 Million Deal to Make UCI Health the Great Park’s Top Promoter
Wednesday, December 01, 2021
UCI Health will be the presenting sponsor of the Great Park, Irvine leaders have decided, approving a deal that will mean roughly $5.7 million for city coffers over 10 years and will include the medical center name on Great Park signs and logos, as well as provide other branding opportunities.
The Irvine City Council, acting as the Great Park board of directors, voted Tuesday, Nov. 23, by 4-0 (CouncilmanAnthony Kuo was absent) to make UCI Health the park’s top promoter. Before the proposed agreement goes into effect, its language will be altered to refer to the exchange as a “partnership,” and a provision will be added to implement a status check with UCI Health halfway through the contract’s 10-year term.
CouncilmanLarry Agran bristled again at the word “sponsorship” during Tuesday’s meeting, saying “the sponsors, the owners, the operators of the Great Park, it’s we the people.” UCI Health would be “kind of partners in this vast wonderful enterprise,” he said.
In a statement, UCI Health CEO Chad Lefteris said the health center “enthusiastically (looks) forward to promoting healthy activities and wellness initiatives at Great Park.”
The partnership comes as the medical center is expanding in the city. A new health complex being built near the northern edge of its university campus will include a hospital, specialized oncology and neuroscience services, children’s health specialties and urgent care facilities.
Lefteris said the partnership “will be an exciting complement to our growing health presence in Irvine, with our new medical complex providing thousands of jobs and world-class care for this wonderful community.”
UCI Health will pay $500,000 the first year of the agreement, adding on an additional 3% each year after that. After the initial 10-year term, there would be opportunities for two five-year extensions.
Over 20 years, the sponsorship is expected to yield $13.4 million; 10% of each year’s payment will go to The Superlative Group, the firm contracted by the city to find and secure sponsors for the Great Park.
As part of the deal, UCI Health can host health and wellness seminars for the public and support city-organized events such as blood drives, sports tournaments, health screenings, vaccination programs and air ambulance services, among others. Once a year, the medical center will host an “Annual Wellness Month presented by UCI Health” for city employees, during which its members can provide mental health, nutrition or fitness seminars, lunches, health screenings or other initiatives.
The medical center will also provide health guidance to the city, including for reopening policies during and after the pandemic and sanitization procedures. UCI Health can choose to brand items such as masks, sunscreen and hand sanitizer dispensers that would be provided at city facilities.
At a meeting in September, Irvine leaders decided to hold off on approving the agreement after some council members questioned the exclusivity of the deal and the valuation of the sponsorship.
The Superlative Group went back and conducted more outreach, contacting all major health centers in the area “to gauge interest in providing counter proposals at a higher market rate,” according to a staff report. Two organizations expressed interest in a “multi-party partnership,” and one said it was interested in being a sole sponsor, the report said. But none submitted a proposal before an Oct. 22 deadline.
Representatives from City of Hope and Hoag health center, both of which are expanding their health care offerings in the city, asked the council at its Tuesday meeting to “hit pause” on approving the agreement for now and consider developing “an inclusive rotating presenting sponsorship” comprised of multiple medical centers in the area. Nisha Morris, spokeswoman for City of Hope, said the proposed agreement with UCI “is not inclusive or transparent,” and told the council she was concerned UCI was given a year to develop a proposal while “we were not apprised until September.”
Kyle Canter, chief operating officer of the Superlative Group, said during the meeting a sponsorship model like the one suggested could complicate some of the benefits, like the inclusion of the sponsor’s name on Great Park signs, which would need to be updated continually as the organizations rotated. Also, having only one presenting partner allows the other interested organizations to sponsor other events or venues in the city, Canter said.
In the staff report, officials noted that Superlative believes the agreement with UCI Health “is aligned with the current market for a presenting sponsorship program in this region.”
Officials have noted that health care providers could still sponsor some community events in the park, such as the annual Irvine Global Village.
Outside the park, more opportunities exist, the staff report noted, including partnerships involving venues such as the Heritage Community Park and Community Center, Irvine Animal Care Center, Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp, Sweet Shade Ability Center and Park, as well as for numerous park improvements and city facilities.
Category: City of Irvine, City of Hope, Hoag, UCI Health, Great Park in Irvine