Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Seeks Official Corporate Partners

Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov

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Legislation Allows New Way for State Agency to Address Budget Gaps

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AUSTIN – For the first time, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is seeking Official Corporate Partners to raise additional revenue to help meet financial challenges, including those facing state parks due to drought and wildfires. This new funding strategy was made possible during the last legislative session by the passage of House Bill 1300, in which state lawmakers gave TPWD authority to develop partnerships with private businesses.

For years, TPWD has benefited from working closely with its official non-profit partner, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, to develop corporate sponsorships as well as philanthropic relationships with individuals and private foundations.  Now TPWD will also be able to offer a new array of exclusive benefits to Official Corporate Partners, including official partner designation in specific business categories.

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is a trusted brand, synonymous with outdoor experiences, wildlife, state parks and conservation,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “We believe that this private-public partnership will be a smart business move for the right companies, offering access to a marketplace of millions of outdoor enthusiasts, and recognizing partner roles in helping  to preserve state parks and the outdoor lifestyle that are such important parts of our Texas heritage.”

The department has targeted a number of business categories in its Request for Proposals (RFP), including automotive, banking, beverage, computer equipment, energy companies, gas station/convenience store, hotel/motel, insurance, mobile phone/wireless, and outdoor apparel.  However, the opportunity is open to any interested company, and all business categories will be considered. The RFP also details partnership guidelines and links to agency regulations created to implement HB 1300.

Under TPWD rules to implement the legislation, businesses who are awarded Official Corporate Partnerships will be able to use the official designation in their marketing efforts and work with TPWD to develop joint promotional campaigns. Among other new benefits, partners will be able to license products featuring the department brand and reach millions of web visitors through banner ads on the agency web site.

 “To our knowledge, this is the first time any state agency in the U.S. has done anything like this, and we anticipate this will be a learning experience where best practices will evolve over time,” said Lydia Saldaña, TPWD communications director. “However, we are approaching this very thoughtfully. Our marketing, legal and administrative teams have spent a great deal of time planning and preparing. We are all mindful that the goal is to help take care of our Texas treasures and carry out our mission.”

Companies interested in TPWD’s official corporate partner opportunity can see details in the Request for Proposals (RFP) on the agency website. The deadline to submit a proposal is Aug. 30.