Toyota to Provide Vehicles for City Lifeguards

Saturday, Sep 17, 2011  |  Updated 10:46 AM PDT
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Toyota to Provide Vehicles for City Lifeguards

The city of San Diego and Toyota are poised to sign a marketing sponsorship deal this fall that would provide 34 new vehicles to lifeguards, a city official said today.

The proposed agreement, which goes before the City Council's Budget Committee on Wednesday, is for two years, with an option for another two. If the deal lasts the full four years, it would be worth $1.1 million.

The city could buy vehicles after the lease period expires.City officials have made marketing partnerships a priority in their hunt for extra revenue during difficult budget times, Natasha Collura, the city's director of strategic partnerships, wrote in an email to City News Service.

Toyota would be known as the "official vehicle" of San Diego's lifeguards if the City Council approves of the agreement, and area auto dealers could use the phrase in advertising and other promotional material.

The recently troubled car company would also be able to conduct promotional events at city facilities, take part in lifeguard events, display its logo on the city's website, and be allowed to directly market to municipal employees, retirees and owners of businesses licensed by the city.

Since the city would not have to pay for new vehicles, about $245,000 would be saved annually, according to Collura.

Under terms of the proposed contract, lifeguards would receive the following 2012 model-year vehicles:
-- three Toyota Sequoia 4WD SUVs,
-- four Toyota 4Runner 4x4 SUVs,
-- 15 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 Trucks (short bed),
-- 11 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4x4 Trucks, and
-- one Toyota Tundra Double Cab 4x4 Truck.

The city has had previous partnerships with General Motors and McCune
Chrysler-Jeep.

When city officials have discussed sponsorship opportunities in the past, they have generally talked about signs at the area's popular beaches.

"We are continuing to explore the viability of that opportunity," Collura said.
 

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