Desoto County News

Naming rights to help fund Renasant Park improvements

Photo: The skatepark at Renasant Park in Hernando. An Iowa-based company is working with the city to sell naming rights in exchange for funds to help improvements to the city’s recreational facilities.  (Bob Bakken/  

June 25 – Like to have your name on a baseball field at the Hernando Civic Center? Maybe you can have your name on the skatepark or dog park at Renasant Park. If so, the City of Hernando and a firm called Sportsman Solutions LC want to talk to you.  

In an effort to help fund improvements for the facilities, the City is partnering with the Waukee, Iowa-based company that deals with negotiating naming rights partnerships for sports facilities. Sportsman Solutions is a sponsorship division of Sportsplex West in Waukee.

It’s the latest effort for the DeSoto County city to fund a plan to construct and renovate its recreational sites since a November 2022 ballot initiative to use an extra tax on prepared food to fund improvements was voted down

Sportsman Solutions vice president Ryan Patrick said his company is now working with the city to get sponsorships and title naming rights for Renasant Park.  

Patrick said the agreement can mean the park can become “Renasant Park, powered by XYZ Manufacturing,” for instance. He said other partnership areas can range from an outfield banner to having your company be the name of a specific ball diamond.  

“There’s a soccer complex with some field naming rights opportunities that exist as well,” Patrick said. “We’ll have something pretty much for every business regardless of budget to be able to tailor and customize a sponsorship agreement for them to be able to partner with the city to help us offset some costs of construction.”

Parks and Recreation Director Jared Barkley added, “We are excited about this partnership with Sportsman Solutions and really propel Renasant Park forward with this development.  We also look forward to the long-term partnership with the business community as they come alongside the City in this endeavor as we look to serve our citizens and visitors well.”

Conceptual drawing of Renasant Park and improvements

The complete list of improvement projects the city has planned is in the $14 million range and Patrick said that is the goal, to raise money that would include baseball and softball fields, an outdoor pavilion, a nature trail, and more, not only to help construct but then over time maintain the facilities.  He said Sportsman Solutions has already gotten involved with the local Chamber of Commerce and hopes to do more.  

“We’re the people that will act on behalf of the city and join with the city,” Patrick said. “We’ve already made an investment to the city. We’re really trying to entrench ourselves in the community, and the city does a pretty good job of what they do already.”

Patrick said Sportsman Solutions already has a portfolio of about $1 billion in projects across the country, from renovations of existing buildings to newly-constructed facilities.  

“We just secured a $2 million naming rights deal over in Cypress Fairbanks, Texas with another $350,000 and some sponsorships to that,” Patrick said. “Our goal here is to offset the cost. It’s one thing to be able to build the sports complex, but it’s another thing to be able to properly maintain it and keep the lights on.”  

The concept is similar to what has been done elsewhere, such as Southaven’s BankPlus Amphitheater and the DeSoto Civic Center being renamed the Landers Center. BankPlus and Landers pay naming rights fees to have their names on the facilities.  

Naming rights offer several advantages to the entities who choose to pay for the privilege.  They enhance brand visibility, recognition and reputation. A deeper connection with the community is developed for the company and adding a name to a facility showcases a commitment and influence. They also can be revenue drivers for the sponsored brand, and in this case, in helping Hernando make needed additions to its parks and recreation system.  

The concept of naming rights has become a more common option in the last decade, Patrick said. 

“This has become a transformational opportunity for a lot of businesses to attach their brand with community,” he noted. “It’s where a lot of bank presidents, doctors, attorneys, and school teachers spend their weekends. That’s the new family vacation for a lot of people as they were going to be at the ball yard.”  

It’s an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often so Patrick said it is important for companies to begin considering how they can be involved.  

“We want to make sure everyone is aware of this opportunity,” said Patrick. “It is first come, first served. We don’t have an infinite number of assets to sell.” 

Patrick may be contacted by email at