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Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Parks department selling ad space at softball fields

Parks Supt. Jeff Kinasz poses with one of the signs at Seymour Lake Park. (click for larger version)
January 26, 2011 - For years, spectators at professional sporting events have been exposed to advertising at various stadiums and arenas.

Signs promoting beer, pizza, automobiles, etc. are familiar sights in end zones and outfields across the country.

Never one to pass up a good money-making opportunity, the Oxford Township Parks and Recreation Department is doing the same thing in Seymour Lake Park.

For $1,200 each, local businesses can purchase a 4-foot-by-8-foot sign to be displayed along the outfield fence surrounding any one of the park's four softball fields.

"It's been a pretty good deal for the people that are advertising," said Parks Superintendent Jeff Kinasz.

Each sign stays up for two years. After that, the business can either renew its contract for another two years at a cost of a little over $600 or keep their sign and use it someplace other than the park.

Between the four fields, there's room for about 120 signs. The park currently has 40 on display, which leaves room for another 80 or so. "We'd like to fill all four softball fields," Kinasz said.

The signs are custom-made by the Oxford-based Tool Sport & Sign, located at 1060 S. Lapeer Rd. "We're trying to do as much locally as we can," Kinasz said.

Each sign costs $600 to make, leaving a $600 profit for the parks and rec. department, which uses the money for everything from building projects to helping fund special events.

"It goes into the general budget and then we tap into it when we need it," Kinasz explained. "Whatever we do out here, it helps offset the cost."

The department is willing to give certain businesses a discount on the sign price in exchange for supplies or services.

"It works out for both of us that way," Kinasz said.

So far, advertisers have been pleased with the response they've received.

"A lot of people are doing well with them out here," Kinasz said.

For instance, downtown Oxford's 'Wiches has a sign informing spectators that the sandwich shop delivers to games.

"We constantly have their vehicles in here delivering sandwiches to people," Kinasz said.

Should a sign get defaced or damaged, the advertiser is not expected to pay for its repair or replacement.

"We're responsible for any vandalism that happens to the sign," Kinasz said. "If some kids spray paint it, it would come out of our end of the deal that way they're not out."

Those interested in purchasing advertising space at Seymour Lake Township Park are encouraged to call either the parks and rec. department at (248) 628-1720 or Dave Osstyn at (248) 953-8011.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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