Charter Communications joins the name game

MEDFORD — Charter Communications Inc. has bought the naming rights to a baseball field at the U.S. Cellular Community Park multi-sport complex between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 in south Medford.

The Medford Parks and Recreation Department and Charter have entered into a 10-year naming-rights agreement. The deal provides Parks and Recreation with $350,000 in in-kind advertising and production from Charter to promote city recreation programs and services and changes the name of Field 9 to Charter Field.

"This naming rights agreement continues our department's efforts to partner with local and national companies for the betterment of the community," Parks and Recreation Director Brian Sjothun said in a statement. "We look at this as a cost-effective way to promote our programs and services to the community."

The contract also provides Charter with outfield and scoreboard signs, additional signs within the park and at the Santo Community Center gymnasium, print advertising in the city's tri-annual Community Connection programs and services guide and a link on

"This a pretty good deal for both of us," Sjothun said Tuesday.

Frank Antonovich, Charter vice president and general manager of operations in the Northwest, said in a statement that the company is proud of its Northwest, said in a statement that the company is proud of its community partnerships.

A 2005 feasibility study commissioned by the city concluded that naming-rights contracts were useful for reducing costs and helping to pay for the expenses of construction and maintenance.

In 2006, the City Council adopted a resolution permitting commercial naming-rights agreements to fund, develop or enhance city-operated facilities and programs.

Charter is the fourth organization to purchase naming rights at the two-year-old park. U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights for the park in 2007 for $650,000. That same year, Harry and David paid for a field to be called the Harry and David Field for $350,000. A year later, a seating section in the baseball field was named after attorney John Hilts, who died four years ago, for $50,000.

"Everything inside that park has the ability to have a name affixed to it," Sjothun said. "In today's economy, we are finding that it's tough for businesses to pay for naming rights, but if they have a service that enhances our services or decreases our costs, we can do an in-kind agreement."

Since its opening, Charter Field has hosted more than 250 youth and adult baseball and softball league and tournament games and is the home of the Cascade Christian High School baseball team, according to Parks and Recreation. The field also has been used for football and lacrosse practices.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or e-mail

Share This Story