ShareThis Page
News

YMCA attracts corporate sponsors

| Wednesday, March 3, 2010

PNC Financial Services Group Inc., law firm Reed Smith and insurer Highmark Inc. purchased naming and sponsorship rights to Pittsburgh's newest YMCA branch, officials said Tuesday.

PNC officials announced the bank's charitable arm purchased naming rights to the 44,000-square-foot facility set to open this month as the centerpiece of an overhaul of Market Square intended to attract people Downtown.

"We have a wonderful opportunity to make this a center of community," said Kevin Bolding, YMCA district vice president, who moved here last year from Miami to manage daily operations. "We do not want to just limit this to health and wellness. We want to have a big, measurable impact on this community."

Reed Smith will sponsor the YMCA's 25-meter indoor pool and Highmark will sponsor a second-floor "wellness center" lined with treadmills and elliptical exercise machines that overlook the $5.1 million transformation of Market Square into a European-style piazza.

Officials declined to disclose the amount of the corporate sponsorships.

Developer Massaro Corp. is converting part of the historic G.C. Murphy Building into the PNC YMCA. The project is part of a larger, $40 million complex with 30,000 square feet of street-level restaurant and retail space and 46 lofts dubbed Market Square Place, built by Washington County-based Millcraft Industries Inc.

"The commitment of these three organizations together is financially meaningful," said Bill Demchak, senior vice chairman of PNC and a YMCA board member. "It will help ensure the programs offered by the Y and the membership experience is the best available."

YMCA CEO Eric Mann said the organization depends on individual and corporate sponsors to support capital and operating expenses.

Such corporate naming and sponsorships are not uncommon among YMCA branches nationwide, said Mamie Moore, a spokeswoman for YMCA of USA in Chicago. She could not provide figures for how many branches have sold naming rights because the organization does not track that information.

"Sometimes it's an individual, and sometimes it's a corporation. It's definitely not unheard of," she said.

The Baierl Family, which owns car dealerships north of Pittsburgh, bought naming rights to a YMCA branch that opened in 2006 in Franklin Park.

This is the fourth Downtown home for the 18-branch YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh in its 150-year history, Mann said.

Previous branches were located at the corner of Penn and Seventh avenues, Wood Street and, most recently, the Boulevard of the Allies, which opened in 1986 and has more than twice as much space. Point Park University purchased the Boulevard of the Allies location for $3.8 million.

The YMCA opened an extension at U.S. Steel Tower that features a UPMC Health Plan Wellness Center.

The new Market Square branch will open to more than 3,000 members shortly after the Boulevard of the Allies location closes March 25 or 26, Bolding said. A grand opening is scheduled for April 24.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me