Lincoln could be earning as much as $1.2 million a year from marketing opportunities within three years, according to a firm hired to look at the city's options.

However, Lincoln would be awash in advertising if it did everything suggested in the 175-page report presented to City Council members at a meeting Monday.

There would be advertising on city cars, on park benches and trash cans, in digital signs across the city and on the city's own website.

There would be satellite banks in public buildings, more than 100 new vending machines in public places selling drinks and food from specific companies that pay to be the city provider.

The city logo would appear on marketing material from companies that had become "proud partners" with the city.

Dog runs could be sponsored by manufacturers of pet-related products that would have access to pet licensing information.

But city leaders are not going to use every idea in this broad, aggressive plan by Active Network, according to Rick Hoppe, aide to Mayor Chris Beutler.

Staff and private citizens who have looked at the report are urging caution with some suggestions, Hoppe said during the council discussion.

The city is not inclined to change its fairly strict billboard and sign ordinances without much public discussion, and it should not pursue digital advertising signs on city property, Hoppe said.

The city also should carefully coordinate any work that encourages local companies to purchase naming rights or to become "proud partners" so that it doesn't interfere with other fundraising initiatives, Hoppe said.

Staff and others don't want such new marketing endeavors to detract from existing capital campaigns and don't want to chill the natural desire to contribute to the city by commercializing all contributions, Hoppe said.

But the city will be moving ahead in two areas: vending machines and recycling efforts, he said.

The city will look at increasing the number of vending machines on city-owned property and offering exclusive long-term rights for products in those machines.

The contracts likely would require a certain percentage of healthy beverages be offered, particularly in places where children would be the primary customers, Hoppe said.

Vending machines probably would not be located in city icons -- Sunken Gardens or the Pioneers Park Nature Center --  based on advice from staff and private citizens.

Such vending contracts could generate between $75,00 to $150,000 a year to the city over 10 to 15 years, according to the report.

Lincoln also will look at creating a public recycling program -- with a company experienced in recycling.

The city also likely would sell ad space on recycling receptacles for additional income, based on the report.

Marketing does not mean private companies saturate communities with advertising, said Don Schulte with Active Network.

That is counterproductive. "They don't want to spend money to get the public mad at them," he said.

For the city, the goal of additional marketing is to raise money to replace some tax dollars and maintain city services, Hoppe said.

The city paid Active Network $50,000 for the plan, and the company will get 10 percent of the city revenue on future ventures, plus approved travel and expenses.

Expenses should run between $5,000 to $7,000 a year, Schulte said.

Reach Nancy Hicks at 402-473-7250 or